Asmaa Beltagy, a 17-year old Egyptian, was standing among protesters in a sit-in staged in support of former President Mohamed Morsi when shots from a sniper rifle ended her life on August 14, 2013.
That day Egyptian security forces violently dispersed the sit-in in eastern Cairo’s Rabaa al-Adawiya square, killing nearly 2,600 protestors, according to figures by the Muslim Brotherhood group. Egyptian authorities, however, say only 623 people were killed in the dispersal, including a number of security personnel.
The dispersal came a few weeks after the military, led by then-defense minister Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, deposed Morsi, Egypt’s first freely elected president, in a military coup.
In the aftermath of the coup, Egyptian security forces launched a harsh crackdown on supporters of Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood groups, killing hundreds and detaining thousands.
Hundreds of Egyptians have fled the crackdown and sought refuge abroad, including Asmaa’s mother, Sanaa Abdel Gawad Mohamed, who resides in Istanbul, Turkey.
Read: How Asmaa was killed
Described as the Baby of Rabaa, her assasination sparked outrage across the globe. Upon her death, her mourning father wrote a letter to his beloved daughter. Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan broke-down on live television when the letter was read out to him.
Sanaa Mohamed told Anadolu Agency:
It was not an easy decision to leave my country where my daughter sacrificed her life for its victory, dignity and prosperity
She said she had to leave Egypt “because they [authorities] wanted to take revenge on all of us”.
Sanaa Mohamed’s husband, Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Beltagy, has been in jail for over three years on multiple charges, including violence and incitement. Her two sons, Anas and Khaled, were also detained by Egyptian authorities.
“They left none of our family members,” the bereaved mother said, adding:
Even Hossam, the little boy, 13, they didn’t leave him alone. They chased him to send him to prison.
For all of that, I was forced to leave my beloved country