- Sarah Hegazi, an Egyptian gay woman became a true iconic personality after suffering from the bitterness of gender discrimination and homophobic violence.
- She was known for being arrested, exiled to Canada and tortured by electrocution after being criticized by the conservatives.
Sarah Hegazi was a 30-year-old Egyptian gay woman who committed suicide in Canada last weekend, June 14, 2020. She was known due to her detention and torturing experience after waving a symbolic rainbow flag, representing the gay community at a concert in Cairo on year 2017.
According to her friend, Sarah’s death came with a suicide note telling a message filled with utmost solidarity, misery and wrath. Despite the bereavement, some people still sent despicable messages upon her death.
On social media, various people commented on their typical condolences and
May God have mercy on her.
But soon, were followed by replies saying
She is not worthy of His Mercy
and a gush of profanity pointing at her sexuality.
The hostile debates that triggered a long-running feud between conservatives and progressives of Egypt brought agony on Hegazi’s life. According to a fellow LGBTQ activist and a friend of Hegazi, she was a former software developer, a feminist and a peculiar activist.
Hegazi became iconic for the gay community and a target for violence after waving the flag. According to the analysts, Egyptian government often imposes conservativeness by imprisonment, torture and silencing of women, LGBTQ members and other citizens who don’t comply with Egypt’s social customs.
Earlier this year, Egypt pledged to safeguard human rights, guaranteed equality and opportunities to all citizens without discrimination. Egypt told the UN Human Rights Council that the state has thoroughly investigated all individual torture cases.
Hejazi’s defiance by raising the flag at the September 2017 concert by Mashrou’ Leila was hailed by the gay community but also considered as a public declaration of opposition against state violence. The action made her friend, Tarek Salama worried as well as humbled and fascinated for her courage.
Days passed after the incident, Hegazi and her friends were arrested. The police eventually imprisoned at least 75 people on the next month leaving Egyptian rights group to believe the act as “unprecedented upsurge in security crackdown targeting gay and transgender citizens”.
Hegazi was imprisoned for three months. She wrote on Daaarb.com that she was tortured by electrocution and was exposed to sexual harassment by female convicts as ordered by officers who believed that she had to be castigated.
Egyptian authorities consistently denied claims of torture in prisons and didn’t answer Hegazi’s claims. It was quite a long journey of trials for Hegazi and even the details of her personal life was explored. They asked her why she took off her hijab and if she was a virgin.
Hegazi was accused of “promoting debauchery” and by union with an illicit group that promotes the threat of public and societal peace.
Hegazi wrote that Egyptian middle class culture is conservative and that exposition and criticisms are common and a duty.
Her words are evidence of her life’s brawl and insensitive reactions to her death. She added that commoners set the bar for hatred, psychological and physical torture, sexual harassment and bullying.
The heartache of those who are socially condemned and unaccepted truly remains even afterlife.