Vigil for murdered teacher Sabina Nessa demands end to violence against women

·2-min read
People at a vigil for Sabina Nessa at Eastbourne Pier in East Sussex.  (PA)
People at a vigil for Sabina Nessa at Eastbourne Pier in East Sussex. (PA)

A vigil for murdered London school teacher Sabina Nessa was held in East Sussex on Tuesday night.

Around 200 people gathered at sunset to pay tribute and protest against the “crisis” of violence against women.

A man suspected of Ms Nessa’s killing was arrested last month in the seaside town of Eastbourne.

The peaceful demonstration was marked by cheers and applause as those addressing the crowd spoke out against victim blaming.

Later, the darkening sky was lit with the lights from dozens of mobile phones, as a minute’s silence was held for Ms Nessa.

Sabina Nessa was attacked and killed on her way to meet a friend earlier this month (handout/PA) (PA Wire)
Sabina Nessa was attacked and killed on her way to meet a friend earlier this month (handout/PA) (PA Wire)

The 28-year-old primary teacher had been walking to meet a friend at a pub near her home when she was fatally attacked.

The journey should have taken just five minutes, but instead she was killed in Cator Park in Kidbrooke, south-east London.

People at a vigil for Sabina Nessa at Eastbourne Pier (Michael Drummond/PA) (PA Wire)
People at a vigil for Sabina Nessa at Eastbourne Pier (Michael Drummond/PA) (PA Wire)

Her body was found nearly 24 hours later covered with leaves near a community centre in the park.

The vigil comes amid continuing public outrage and debate over women’s safety and policing.

Speaking to those gathered on the seafront near the pier, one woman who gave her name as Natasha said: “Sabina Nessa should still be alive.

“She was loved and she will be deeply missed.”

People at a vigil for Sabina Nessa at Eastbourne Pier (Gareth Fuller/PA) (PA Wire)
People at a vigil for Sabina Nessa at Eastbourne Pier (Gareth Fuller/PA) (PA Wire)

Many of those attending held pictures of Ms Nessa, from Sandy, Bedfordshire while others carried signs calling out male violence or remembering Sarah Everard.

Natasha continued: “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 busses does not make us feel safe.

“This is a crisis. We need to make the safety of women and girls a priority.”

Koci Selamaj was arrested in Eastbourne in the early hours of September 26.

A light-coloured Nissan Micra was seized in a leafy residential street about half-a-mile away.

Selamaj, 36, from the town, has indicated that he will deny the charge of murder.

He has been remanded in custody ahead of a plea hearing on December 16.

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