Australians plan vigil in memory of murdered 21-year-old Israeli-Arab

Melbourne police said on Thursday afternoon that Maasarwe had been seriously assaulted, but are still trying to determine the exact cause of death.

January 18, 2019 03:30
1 minute read.
Yahrtzeit candle [Illustratvie]

Yahrtzeit candle [Illustratvie]. (photo credit: ELIPONGO/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)


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Activists in Australia have planned several memorials and vigils across Melbourne, to take place on Friday, in memory of 21-year-old Israeli-Arab student Aiia Maasarwe who was murdered while on her way home from a comedy show in Melbourne in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Ahead of the memorial events, several groups have called for an end to the “epidemic of violence against women.”
Memorials are set to take place on the steps of the Victoria Parliament building on Friday evening and roses will also be placed the tram in which Maasarwe was believed to have been traveling in while on her way home.

Co-organiser of the vigils, Jessamy Gleeson told Australia's SBS News that was "shattered and heartbroken," as she had organized a similar event just six months ago for a 22-year-old comedian who was killed in a similar manner while on her way home from a show.

There are a lot of things that need to change... and a lot of these changes can start with the government itself and the choices they choose to make," she said.

"We want women to be safe and be able to walk home without being attacked," she said.

Melbourne police said on Thursday afternoon that Maasarwe had been seriously assaulted, but are still trying to determine the exact cause of death.

Maasarwe was on the phone with her sister when she was attacked. Her sister heard the sound of a fall and some voices over the phone, so she alerted authorities.

Homicide detectives have called on anyone who had seen anything suspicious in the area between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. on Tuesday to contact police.

Israel’s Consul in Canberra, Nir Rubinoff, together with the Department for Israelis Abroad in the Consular Affairs Department and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, are assisting in the transfer of the body for burial in Israel.

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