The family of an Egyptian student allegedly attacked by a group of women in Nottingham have said her death could have been prevented after police missed ‘vital warnings’.
Mariam Moustafa’s parents claimed that a previous alleged incident, which they say involved the same attackers, wasn’t acted on sufficiently by police.
Mariam, 18, was left in a coma after she was attacked in the street on February 20 and died on Wednesday.
The engineering student’s death has caused uproar in Egypt, with the country’s embassy calling for those responsible to be “brought to justice swiftly”.
Mariam’s family allege that another incident took place in August, which they claim involved the same attackers and left Mariam hurt and her teenage sister with a broken leg.
Malak Moustafa, 16, told The Times: “No one did anything, something could’ve been done, and if the police did then she would still be here.
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“I do think vital warnings were missed, the police should’ve done something after the first attack, but they did nothing.
“A complaint was filed and that was it.”
Mariam was allegedly punched several times during a confrontation with a group of women in Parliament Street, Nottingham, at about 8pm on February 20.
It is alleged that she was followed by the group when she got on a bus at the scene near the Victoria Centre shopping precinct, who were then allegedly threatening and abusive towards her.
The teen was taken to the Queen’s Medical Centre in the city then transferred to Nottingham City Hospital where she was treated until she died.
Ms Moustafa’s father, Mohamed, 49, told The Times: “I don’t know why they attacked her the first time, but they recognised her the second time and went after her again.
“My wife and I think it was racially motivated because Mariam didn’t know these girls. Why would you attack someone randomly? They were all of different colour skin to Mariam, maybe that is why they did this.”
Nottinghamshire Police have said there is no information to suggest Ms Moustafa’s death was a hate crime, although investigators are “keeping an open mind”.
A 17-year-old girl arrested on suspicion of assault occasioning grievous bodily harm was bailed pending further investigation following the incident.
Despite a Nottinghamshire Police statement saying there is no information to suggest it was a hate crime, the Egyptian embassy has said the “deep concern of the Egyptian public is evident”.
A statement said: “The government of Egypt and the embassy have been closely following the circumstances of this vicious attack with the relevant British authorities and expressed the need for those responsible to be brought to justice swiftly.”
It added: “The deep concern of the Egyptian public is evident and the embassy remains focused in its efforts to support and assist Mariam’s grieving family whose life has been shattered by their traumatic loss.”