An Egyptian court has called for a legal amendment to allow live broadcast of the execution of the killer of university student Nayera Ashraf. The call for the legal amendment was made by the Al Mansura Criminal Court on Sunday. Mohamed Adel was found guilty last month of the "premeditated murder" of Nayera Ashraf after she refused his marriage proposal.
Following that, he was sentenced to death. A horrifying video showing Abdel stabbing Ashraf in broad daylight in front of passersby was widely circulated across the internet. High-profile femicides in Egypt in recent months have sparked a lot of anger and outcry.
Setting an Example
Adel was given a death sentence on June 28 following the gruesome murder of Ashraf. According to testimony given in court, Adel fatally stabbed Ashraf outside the campus after she declined his marriage proposal. He admitted to the crime and was given a death sentence, which required the consent of Egypt's Grand Mufti, Dr. Shawki Allam. The decision was made public on July 24.
The Mansoura Criminal Court, which sentenced Adel and is located 80 miles (130 kilometers) north of Cairo, asked the legislature to amend the law governing the death penalty so that the execution might be broadcast live in order to deter future crimes of a similar nature.
Citing local media, the outlet reported that the court wrote in a statement: "The broadcast, even if only part of the start of proceedings, could achieve the goal of deterrence, which was not achieved by broadcasting the sentencing itself."
Egyptians uploaded their horrified responses online in June after a video apparently showing Ashraf being stabbed in front of her university in Mansoura went viral. The death penalty is the harshest penalty for murder in Egypt, which according to Amnesty International had the third-highest number of executions globally in 2021.
Rarest of the Rare
In Egypt, executions are rarely performed in public or on television. In an unusual instance, official television carried the execution of three criminals who had murdered a woman and her two children in their Cairo home in 1998.
High-profile femicides in Egypt in recent months have sparked a lot of anger and outcry. North Africa was rocked by the murder of television presenter Shaimaa Gamal in June.
In March, a teenager was sentenced to five years in prison for the suicide of a schoolgirl after her photos were released online.
Islam is strictly interpreted in Egypt, making it challenging for women to exercise their rights. A 2015 UN poll found that approximately 8 million Egyptian women have experienced violence in public settings from spouses, relatives, or complete strangers.
The legal team for Adel is still advocating for him, nevertheless. Farid El-Deeb, the defendant's attorney, declared that his client would challenge the verdict. "We still have 60 days to challenge the death sentence against Adel," El-Deeb was quoted as adding.
The National reported that since graphic videos of Ashraf's murder on a busy street were extensively posted on social media, millions of Egyptians have been following the horrific story.
The murder of Ashraf has also brought attention to the problem of gender-based violence in Egypt. The police and the courts both failed to appropriately investigate sexual and gender-based violence, according to Amnesty International's report from last year.