Sabina Nessa: Vigil held for school teacher held in Eastbourne where murder suspect was arrested

A vigil has been held for Sabina Nessa in Eastbourne, where the man suspected of her murder was arrested.

About 200 people gathered to pay tribute to the school teacher and protest the “crisis” of violence against women as the sun set in the Sussex seaside town.

The peaceful demonstration, held in front of the town’s Victorian pier continued for about an hour, with various speakers addressing the crowd.

At about 7pm, those gathered paused in thoughtful reflection as a Muslim prayer was read out.

The vigil came to an end after dark when a minute’s silence was held and people shone their phone lights.

Ms Nessa, 28, had been walking to meet a friend at a pub near her home when she was fatally attacked on 17 September.

The journey should have taken just five minutes, but instead she was killed in Cator Park in Kidbrooke, southeast London.

Her body was found nearly 24 hours later covered with leaves near a community centre in the park.

Koci Selamaj, 36, was arrested in the East Sussex town in the early hours of 26 September.

Tuesday’s vigil comes amid continuing public outrage and debate over women’s safety and policing.

Speaking to those gathered on the seafront on Tuesday evening, co-organiser Natasha Peacock said: “Sabina Nessa should still be alive. She was loved and she will be deeply missed.”

Many of those attending held pictures of Ms Nessa, while others carried signs calling out male violence or remembering Sarah Everard.

One placard read “When will women be safe?” while another said “She was just walking home”.

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Ms Peacock continued: “Women are frightened for their lives. We are having to consider the risk of going out alone past 6pm and potentially getting, attacked, raped or murdered and the advice to flag down busses does not make us feel safe.

“This is a crisis. We need to make the safety of women and girls a priority.”

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