Egypt's Grand Mufti upholds death sentence for Salma Bahgat's killer

Islam Mohamed stabbed his classmate 31 times after she rejected his romantic advances

Salma Bahgat, 20, was stabbed to death by Islam Mohamed, 22. Photo: @maitelsadany twitter
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An Egyptian court on Monday upheld the death sentence for a man who murdered a university student in the agricultural province of Sharqia.

Islam Mohamed was found guilty of stabbing his classmate Salma Bahgat in the city of Zagazig in August after she repeatedly rejected his romantic advances. The incident shook the nation.

Though the court had already issued the death penalty, the ruling had been under review by the country’s Grand Mufti since October, a routine step in Egypt.

A court official said in October that Mohamed was given a psychiatric evaluation by medical professionals who determined he was sane when committing his crime, making him fully responsible for the premeditated murder. He also announced his intent to carry out the murder on social media hours before committing the crime.

A forensics report at the time of the murder showed that Bahgat, who was killed at the entrance of a building in Zagazig, was stabbed 31 times.

Security camera footage showed the killer pacing in the lobby, holding the knife he used to kill Bahgat while her body could be seen on the floor behind him. There were more than 15 eyewitnesses.

Bahgat’s murder followed that of Nayera Ashraf, another university student murdered by a classmate whose romantic advances she rejected.

Ashraf’s killer, Mohamed Adel, was sentenced to death by hanging in July.

The string of murders has raised concerns for women in Egypt, particularly at the nation’s universities.

In Egypt, civilians sentenced to death are hanged, while military executions are typically carried out by firing squad.

Updated: November 07, 2022, 1:45 PM