Sabina Nessa: Hundreds gather for vigil in Eastbourne
FILE PHOTO: Candles in Pegler Square are left after a candlelight vigil for teacher Sabina Nessa on September 24, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Rob Pinney/Getty Images)
HUNDREDS of people have gathered on Tuesday (5) evening for a vigil in memory of Sabina Nessa, the primary school teacher who was killed three weeks ago.
About 200 people attended the event held in Eastbourne, where the suspect was arrested late last month, reported The Guardian.
The peaceful demonstration was held in front of the seaside town’s Victorian pier, to honour Nessa and protest over violence against women, the report added.
As part of the vigil, people lit their mobile phone lights in Nessa’s honour and a minute’s silence was also held.
The 28-year-old teacher was killed as she walked to meet a friend at a pub near her home in Kidbrooke, south-east London.
During the event, people addressed the crowd at the seafront spoke out against victim-blaming.
“Sabina Nessa should still be alive. She was loved and she will be deeply missed,” Natasha Peacock, the co-organiser, was quoted as saying by The Guardian.
Nessa’s walk through Cator Park should have taken just five minutes but she never completed her journey. Her body was found almost 24 hours later, covered with leaves.
The event came amid mounting public outrage and continued debate over women’s safety and over-policing in the UK.
Many of those attending held pictures of Nessa, while others carried signs calling out male violence, as well as remembering Sarah Everard.
“Women are frightened for their lives. We are having to consider the risk of going out alone past 6pm and potentially getting attacked, raped or murdered – and the advice to flag down buses does not make us feel safe,” said Peacock.
“This is a crisis. We need to make the safety of women and girls a priority.”
The vigil lasted for about an hour and at about 7pm, a Muslim prayer was readout, the report added.
Koci Selamaj was arrested in the East Sussex town in the early hours of 26 September and has been charged with Nessa’s murder.
During a court hearing last week, the 36-year-old’s lawyer indicated he will plead not guilty. Selamaj has been remanded in custody ahead of a plea hearing on 16 December.
Two other men, aged 38 and 41, who were also arrested by police investigating the teacher’s death have been released under investigation, the newspaper report added.