Mariam Moustafa: 'Mistaken identity' could have provoked bus attack

Mariam Moustafa: 'Mistaken identity' could have provoked bus attack
Malak Moustafa has contended that her sister was mistakenly targeted by the girl gang who beat her to death, thinking she had argued with them on social media
2 min read
18 March, 2018
Mariam Moustafa's family have been speaking out about her tragic death [Twitter]
The sister of Egyptian teenager Mariam Moustafa who died three weeks after being badly beaten by a girl gang in Nottingham has said that the 18-year-old may have been targeted in a case of mistaken identity, according to the Nottingham Post.

Video footage also emerged on Friday showing a young man trying to protect Mariam while several girls try and attack her at the back of a bus.

The bus company in question - Nottingham City Transport - had originally made a Facebook post denying that the attack happened on one of their buses. However, the post was deleted shortly after.

Mariam's sister Malak, 16, told the Nottingham Post on Sunday that she now believes the attackers may have confused her sister with a lookalike who had been arguing with them on social media using the name "Black Rose".

"They called Mariam 'Black Rose' because someone on social media with that name had been arguing with them.

"But Mariam said it wasn't her, and they called her a liar and started to attack her," Malak told the newspaper.

The deadly attack on the Nottigham College student - which has caused outrage in her native Egypt - was originally thought to be racially motivated.

Cairo's embassy in London said the "deep concern of the Egyptian public is evident" and called for those responsible to be "brought to justice swiftly".

In an attempt to assuage Egyptian anger, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said on Friday that he was "deeply saddened by the death".

"My condolences to Mariam's loved ones. I have assured Egyptian Foreign Minister (Sameh) Shoukry that Nottinghamshire Police are investigating the case."

Nottinghamshire Police said on it was treating the attack "very seriously" and was "working hard to establish the circumstances".

Responding to the thrust of social media posts, it said there was currently "no information to suggest the assault was motivated by hate but we continue to keep an open mind".

Many Twitter users have argued that Mariam did not receive sufficient medical and police assistance because she was Egyptian.

A 17-year-old girl has been arrested on suspicion of assault occasioning grievous bodily harm and released on bail.

A vigil is being planned for Mariam in Nottingham on Monday.