By Sally Shakkour
Queer community and human rights activists took it to social media, yesterday, to mark one year anniversary since the suicide of Sarah Hegazi.
Sarah was a prominent LGBT activist, socialist and writer who committed a suicide on 14th of June 2020 after being exposed to arrest, jail and torture in Egypt.
The LGBT activist was arrested by the Egyptian police for three months for raising the Pride Flag during a Mashrou' Leila concert in Cairo in 2017. Despite the fact that she was released and gained asylum in Canada; the Egyptian activist was never over her arrest and torture and ended up taking her own life in exile.
A year ago today, #SarahHegazi took her own life in exile in Canada.— Rasha Younes (@Rasha__Younes) June 14, 2021
Detained in #Egypt for raising a🏳️🌈flag in 2017, Sarah was tortured by police and held in solitary confinement.
This and every year, for #SarahHegazi: in rage, in grief, in exhaustion.https://t.co/kYTEk8FDbm pic.twitter.com/iDS9K1RKHV
In Jordan, activists have planned a virtual event to discuss the rights of LGBTQ in the country and to mark a year since Sarah Hegazi’s death. The Jordanian authorities immediately contacted the ministry of interior and canceled the virtual session called “Activism, the Arts, and LGBTQ+ Rights.”
The online event was set to take place virtually on Monday, June 14th to honor the Egyptian activist Sarah Hegazi and speak about LGBTQ+ rights in Jordan. Later on, a Jordanian Member of Parliament noticed the Facebook event and immediately called to cancel it; saying they will never allow such an event that is against the country’s traditions, religion and social norms.
Nevertheless, this is not the first time Sarah Hegazi’s death causes issues to the Jordanian authorities; One year ago, some Jordanian artists commemorated the activist’s death by drawing graffiti on Amman walls. However, the Greater Amman Municipality called for the drawings’ removal.
On this day, Sarah Hegazy departed this cruel world.— Marwa Fatafta مروة فطافطة #SaveSheikhJarrah (@marwasf) June 14, 2021
May your soul rest in peace and power, Sarah. Your legacy shall always remind us to be courageous yet kind in the face of injustice. pic.twitter.com/o5liOANcX8
LGBT activists worldwide have remembered the prominent activist yesterday. In New York, Sarah’s name was written on the floor surrounded by flowers, candles and the Pride flag.
In London, a vigil was released to remember Sarah Hegazi on Monday to mark one year on her passing away.
We had a very moving vigil for the Egyptian political activist #SarahHegazi in New York City. We will never forget you Sarah. One year has passed on your death and I still cannot believe it. Miss you <3 #Pride2021 #PrideMonth pic.twitter.com/5V7aNr7e2Q— Ahmed El Hady (@zamakany) June 15, 2021
Several organizations including Bedayaa Organization which works to promote sexual orientations, gender identities, gender expressions and sex characteristics' rights in the Nile Valley area, shared commemoration messages over Sarah Hegazi’s death.
Bedayaa Tweeted: “A joint statement recognizing the first anniversary of the death of lesbian activist Sarah Hegazi and announcing the inauguration of a Pride Day for Lesbian and Queer Women from the Middle East and North Africa.”
A joint statement recognizing the first anniversary of the death of lesbian activist Sarah Hegazi and announcing the inauguration of a Pride Day for Lesbian and Queer Women from the Middle East and North Africa.— Bedayaa Organization (@Bedayaa1) June 14, 2021
the statement : https://t.co/FWTStFRvA9#SarahHegazi pic.twitter.com/ZEYTYomPW6
Sarah Hegazi’s last words were: “To the world. You were cruel. But I forgive You”.
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