Aya, a middle school student, died on June 7 from fourth-degree burns, Kapitalis and other local news sources reported. Aya spent nine days in the Ben Arous Hospital for Burns and Injuries before succumbing to her injuries. The father has been arrested but his name has not been released.
Tunisia Live (h/t HPS) Aya’s death has been seen as resulting from an ‘honor crime,’ a killing committed in response to perceived shaming of the family. These crimes target mostly women. Extramarital sex, or even suspicion of it, is a major cause.
Aya’s death shocked the country and sparked an indignant response from many Tunisians. One group of activists called for a silent march in her memory on June 19. The Facebook event, ‘Aya, Voice of the Victim,’ called on Tunisians to participate and denounce her death and honor killings.
“This act is nothing more than a sign of a sick and suffering society that continues to demonize the female gender,” said the event’s page. “What happened is strange in our society,” Feten Abdelkafi, one of the event’s organizers, told Tunisia Live.
“The poor girl was just returning from school with her classmate. I can’t believe that a father could do such a thing to his daughter,” she added.