Targeted in Life and Death: The Suicide of a Prominent Egyptian LGBT+ Activist Triggers Renewed Online Debate

Published June 15th, 2020 - 08:55 GMT
Targeted in Life and Death: The Suicide of a Prominent Egyptian LGBT+ Activist Triggers Renewed Online Debate
Social media users also posted screenshots highlighting a 2017 post she titled as "before suicide.." (Twitter: @TEARHOYAA)

Two years after her self-exile in Canada, prominent Egyptian LGBT+ activist Sarah Hegazy was found dead in her Toronto residence with a suicide note.

The 30-years old activist was well-known amongst Egyptian human rights and LGBT+ activists, who took to social media networks to mourn her death.

Friends of Sarah highlighted her struggle with mental health issues and depression following her coming out in 2017, especially her 3-month arrest after waving the rainbow flag during a musical concert for the Lebanese band Mashrou' Leila.

After her release, Sarah reported spending one week in solitary confinement and being tortured by officers who inappropriately used to ask her about her sexuality. 

Sarah's suicide note addressed her family members and her friends; asking them for forgiveness. The note ended with a message to the world she described as "too cruel" before adding "but I forgive."

Sarah's mother had passed away a few days after she left Egypt in 2018.

Social media users also posted screenshots highlighting a 2017 post she titled as "before suicide..". Hegazy's last Instagram post hinted at ending her life, saying that "she wishes to be in the sky instead of on this earth."

As soon as news of Sarah Hegazy's death went viral, posts mourning her death received a strong backlash by anti-LGBT+ commentators, mostly referring to religious texts that prohibit same-sex relationships.

Some also attacked  Hegazy saying she was an atheist and a feminist "who doesn't deserve prayers."


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