Family of ‘veil martyr’ files case against Dresden judges

3 December 2010

The family of the pregnant Egyptian woman murdered last year in a Dresden courtroom has filed a case against the two judges on the bench that day for not preventing her death.
Marwa El-Sherbini, dubbed the “veil martyr,” was stabbed to death in a courtroom in July 2009 in a racially motivated crime that outraged the Muslim world.
The 31-year-old was stabbed by Russian-born Alex Wiens at least 16 times with an 18-centimetre kitchen knife. She was three-months pregnant with her second child. Her three-year-old son, Mustafa, watched her bleed to death in the courtroom. Sherbini’s husband, Egyptian geneticist Elwy Okaz, rushed to her aid but was also stabbed and then shot in the leg by a police officer who was unsure who was the attacker. Wiens confessed to the crime during his trial, which resulted in a life sentence.
Sherbini’s family has now filed a case to force the higher regional court to review their accusations against the court officials present the day of the murder, who they say did not properly insure her safety

Dresden honours Egyptian “veil martyr”

The city of Dresden on Thursday paid its respects to a pregnant Egyptian woman who was stabbed to death in a courtroom one year ago in a racially motivated crime that outraged the Muslim world (http://www.euro-islam.info/2009/09/02/the-marwa-al-sherbini-case-investigators-believe-killer-hated-non-europeans-and-muslims).

Officials including Saxon Justice Minister Jürgen Martens honoured the memory of 31-year-old Marwa El-Sherbini, dubbed the “veil martyr,” with a plaque to serve as a warning against racism. “One year ago all of us were forced to realise the deadly logic of the hatred of foreigners,” said Martens, adding that the murder had shaken “Dresden, Germany and the entire world.” He promised not to stop fighting this misanthropic attitude. Members of the local Muslim community took part in the ceremony and a commemorative march was held later in the day.

A commemorative plaque was unveiled in the foyer of the regional court where the murder took place. The plaque’s inscription, written in both German and Arabic, read that the Egyptian has fallen victim to islamophobia and xenophobia, which she had fought with dignity and exemplary moral courage. “We bow to the victim of this dreadful and incomprehensible deed and join her family in grieving for her”, it reads.

Christian Demuth, of a local association for civil courage, and artist Johannes Köhler placed a sculpture in front of the court. It is a large knife of 1.50m made of concrete and is supposed to remind the citizens of Dresden of the everyday racism in the city. The association will set up 18 similar sculptures to the end of July, standing for “the small and big stabs that people in Dresden have to endure every day because of masked or open racism”, Demuth says.