LONDON: The sister of slain UK schoolteacher Sabina Nessa has said racism played a role in the lackluster government and media response to the brutal murder of her sibling.
Jebina Islam told BBC Radio 4 that if they were a “normal British white family,” they would have received different treatment in the wake of her sister’s death.
Nessa, 28, was killed last year by Koci Selamaj in a London park. He repeatedly hit her over the head and strangled her to death.
But after the attack, Nessa’s family received “no support from the government,” her sister told the BBC.
She also criticized Home Secretary Priti Patel for appearing to use the attack for “publicity reasons.”
Islam said: “You don’t know what we as a family are going through and to be honest you haven’t even bothered to ask since the death of my sister. And to be honest she has no right.”
She added that UK media had treated the murder of her sister differently to the slaying of Sarah Everard, a 33-year-old marketing executive who was kidnapped and murdered the same year.
Islam said: “My sister didn’t get as much headlines, I feel, at the start. Maybe was it down to her ethnicity?
“She didn’t get the front pages on some of the papers, and in Sarah Everard’s case she did. I think it’s just down to our ethnicity, to be honest.”
Selamaj was imprisoned last week for a minimum term of 36 years. Following the sentence, Patel tweeted: “Sabina Nessa lost her life due to the harrowing and callous actions of a man who’s rightly now behind bars.
“While I can’t possibly know how Sabina’s family and friends are feeling, I hope today’s sentence brings them a small comfort, knowing this evil monster has faced justice.
“As home secretary, tackling violence against women and girls is central to my Beating Crime Plan and I am doing everything in my power to target perpetrators, protect the public and make our streets safer for everyone.”