Hundreds of people gathered in South London to protest against gender-based violence in the UK. / EFE
Photo: NEIL HALL
Hundreds of people dressed in white gathered this Saturday in London for a vigil for Zara Aleenaa lawyer who was killed on June 26 as she was walking home on Cranbrook Road, east of London, after attending a party. An examination done after her death found that Aleena had sustained multiple serious injuries.
The Daily Mail reported that the screams of the 35-year-old woman woke up the residents of the area, who called the authorities. Paramedics rushed to the scene where they performed resuscitation for two hours before taking her to the hospital around 4:30 am. She was pronounced dead shortly after.
“She is not responsible for what happened to her, society is responsible for what happened to her,” Anjum Mouj, co-chair of the London Black Women’s Project, told an assembled crowd, according to The Guardian. “It is July 2; nearly 60 women have died this year… shame on our society, shame on our political leaders, who for a moment thought this would not happen,” Mouj added.
Zara Aleena had started working at the Royal Courts of Justice five weeks before she was killed. In her family they remember her as “a kind soul”.
“I spent my whole life afraid to walk home at night, changing my heels for sneakers, it always made me feel safer. As a society we need to more directly address the causes of male violence and anger towards women. Love to the family and friends of Zara Aleena”, commented a user on Twitter.
I’ve spent my whole life scared of walking home at night, changing out of my heels and into trainers always made me feel safer. As a society we need to more directly confront the causes of male violence and rage towards women. Love to the family and friends of #ZaraAleena pic.twitter.com/mW2Rj5Vx5k
— hanna dillon chalmers (@hannachalmers1) July 2, 2022
The BBC reported that a 29-year-old man, identified as Jordan McSweeney, was flagged as a suspect by authorities. However, the man did not plead guilty to the murder charge.
Zara Aleena’s case is the latest in a wave of murders in London. Sabina Nessa, 28, was murdered minutes from her home in the southeastern part of the city in September of last year, just months after Sarah Everard, 33, was kidnapped, raped and murdered.
“Zara believed that a woman should be able to walk home,” her family said in a statement days before the vigil. “Sadly, she Zara is not the only one who has had her life taken at the hands of a stranger. We all know that women should be safe on our streets. She was in the heart of her community, 10 minutes from her house,” they added, as reported by The Guardian.
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