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Australia mourns Aiia

Aiia Maasarwe was studying English at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia, when she was raped and murdered. A 20-year-old man has been charged.

In January, the Israeli exchange student got off the tram near her suburban accommodation in Bundoora. She was on the phone to her sister in Israel when she was attacked. Her body was found dumped in bushes.

“Safety for women” marches took place in several Australian cities in the wake of the killing, which police describes as an “opportunistic, random attack”.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison described the death as the “most despicable of crimes… Every woman in Australia… should be able to travel home in safety.”

Police have arrested Codey Herrmann, whose T-shirt and baseball cap were apparently found near the crime scene, and who lived in a Bundoora squat.

He has been charged with rape and murder and placed in custody until June.

Maasarwe’s father arrived in Melbourne to identify her body and attended several vigils for her before repatriating the body.

Following Maasarwe’s murder, the State of Victoria announced an extra 100 security officers to be deployed on trams across Melbourne.

Image courtesy of Wikipedia
Matt Salusbury
Matt Salusbury
MATT SALUSBURY, news editor and journalist, has worked for EL Gazette since 2007. He is also joint Chair of the London Freelance Branch of the National Union of Journalists and co-edits its newsletter, the Freelance. He taught English language for 15 years in the Netherlands, in Turkey, in a North London further education college and now as an English for Academic Purposes tutor, most recently at the London School of Economics. He is a native English speaker and is also fluent in Dutch.
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