Egypt sentences man to death over high-profile femicide: judicial source

An Egyptian court on Tuesday sentenced a man to death for the murder of a student after she rejected his advances, a judicial source said, in a case that sparked widespread outrage.

The court found the defendant Mohamed Adel guilty of the “premeditated murder” of university student Nayera Ashraf after he confessed to the crime in court, according to the source.

The verdict, handed down in Mansoura north of Cairo two days after the trial opened on Sunday, will now be referred to the grand mufti, Egypt’s top theological authority — a formality in death penalty cases.

A video that went viral appeared to show Ashraf being stabbed outside her university earlier this month.

Adel had “stabbed her several times” according to the prosecution, which found “messages threatening to cut her throat” on the victim’s phone.

Ashraf had previously reported her fears of attack to the authorities, according to her father and witnesses.

The verdict was met with celebrations in front of the courthouse in Mansoura, videos published by local media showed.

The crime has triggered widespread anger in Egypt and beyond, and was followed by a similar campus shooting in Jordan a few days later. 

Jordanian police said Monday that the man suspected of the murder of student Iman Irshaid had “shot himself” after refusing to turn himself in.

Social media users have drawn comparisons between the two cases, decrying incidents of femicide in the Arab world.

Some called for the perpetrators to be sentenced to death, while others said men must “learn to take no for an answer”.

Egypt carried out the third highest number of executions in the world in 2021, according to Amnesty International.

Nearly eight million Egyptian women were victims of violence committed by their partners or relatives, or by strangers in public spaces, according to a United Nations survey conducted in 2015.