Egyptian coroner: Shaimaa al-Sabbagh died because she was 'slim'

Egyptian coroner: Shaimaa al-Sabbagh died because she was 'slim'
The explanation from the spokesman for the Forensic Medicine Authority has provoked a social media storm of ridicule in Egypt.
2 min read
23 March, 2015
The explanation given for Sabbagh's death has been met with ridicule and outrage [al-Araby al-Jadeed]

On Saturday evening, the spokesperson for the Egyptian Forensic Medicine Authority Dr. Hisham Abd al-Hamid appeared on Sada el-Balad television channel and claimed that the "birdshot" that killed Shaimaa al-Sabbagh on 24 January was not fatal.

"[The pellets] penetrated Shaimaa's body and killed her because she was too slim."

The statement sparked a wave of sarcastic remarks on social media and networking sites. "You have to be fat so not to die, as the slim ones die when shot," tweeted Riham.

Meanwhile Aliaa Jad wrote: "Forensic Medicine on Shaimaa al-Sabbagh: 'Birdshots do not cause death, but they penetrated her body because she was too slim', meaning that Shaimaa was at fault for not drinking her milk."

Mahmoud Adam tweeted: "So it is Shaimaa al-Sabbagh's fault after all."

Most tweets were a response to what was viewed as ridicule by the Forensic Medicine Authority over the tragic death of Sabbagh. Amr Imam wrote: "Forensic Medicine Authority proved, beyond any doubt, that a good diet during one's childhood, adolescence and youth years would protect against death by 'birdshot' in adulthood. #Shaimaa_al-Sabbagh."

Abdel Azim also made fun of the forensic authority's report. He tweeted: "Shaimaa al-Sabbagh, God have mercy on her soul, died because she was underweight when the 'birdshot' pellets penetrated her body! We should stop dieting and focus more on eating pizza."

Another Twitter user considers that it was unsettling that the incident was turned into a mockery. "A child lost his mother and a mother will never see her son again... the ridicule here is disgusting."

This is an edited translation from our Arabic edition.