Unforgotten: The Martyrs of the #120db Movement

Today I attended a ‘Women’s Strike’ in Regents Square, to celebrate International Women’s Day.

As is often the case, there were many holding signs advocating for open borders.

I personally don’t remember ‘women’s day’ ever being something we celebrated in this country when I was growing up. The only female-orientated day I remember was Mother’s Day or ‘Mothering Sunday’. Either way, I can’t help but feel a funny taste in my mouth whenever I see an Instagram post saying something along the lines of ‘SUPPORT STRONG WOMEN’ or ‘GIVE WOMEN A VOICE’, because so often it’s nothing more than an excuse to take a selfie, a picture of your body or to promote some sort of fashion or lifestyle brand.

Also, the last thing a truly strong woman will do is tell other people how strong they are. Strength is quiet, it is difficult and lonely at times. It also relies on numerous other attributes: discipline, kindness, self reflection, acceptance and loss. It’s not something you can suddenly declare yourself, it has to be earned.

I also feel quite sickly when I read prominent female columnists in The Evening Standard writing things like ‘before you ask when International Men’s Day is, it’s the other 364 days of the year!’ Actually, it’s November 19th, but message received loud and clear.

So today, instead of ‘lifting the voices’ of overweight fashion models, singer songwriters and pseudo-intellectual e-celebrities, I would like to take a moment to think about three girls who will never have a chance to become the women they were destined to be.

1. Maria

In the early hours of the morning on the 16th October 2016, Maria Ladenburger, a 19 year old medical student from Freiburg, left a party hosted by her university medical faculty and cycled home on her usual route. Maria never made it home from the party. Less than a mile away from her accommodation, she was raped and murdered by Hussein Khavari. He pressed her mouth shut and choked her using her scarf, before violently raping her. He later dumped her unconscious body in the knee-deep water of the river Dreisam, where she drowned.

Khavari, a migrant allegedly from Afghanistan (evidence was presented to the court claiming he was actually an Iraqi), had entered Germany the previous year with no identi cation. He managed to get through the border by claiming to be an underage unaccompanied refugee, and was placed with a foster family.

Following his arrest, a medical examination estimated Khavari to be around 25 years old, not 16 as he stated to the German border patrol on entering the country. It was also revealed to the court that he had previously been sentenced to 10 years in prison for robbing a 20 year old student and throwing her o a cli in Corfu, two years before entering the country. He was released after one and a half years in prison due to a general amnesty for juvenile o enders initiated by the Greek government. German authorities didn’t see the conviction on their system as Greece had not initiated an international search via Interpol.

Prosecutors have disputed his account of the murder, claiming he had planned it beforehand. Chief prosecutor Ekkart Berger said ‘we assume that he had a killing intention from the beginning’. It was suggested that he had stopped her by grabbing the handlebars of her bicycle and bringing her to a halt. Surveillance footage from the trial showed that he had molested two other women prior to the rape and murder of Maria, the very same day. It was later revealed that, at the age of 14, he had raped a 12 year old girl in Iran.

2. Mia

Mia Valentin was a 15 year old girl, living in the small, peaceful town of Kandel, Germany. Her killer, Afghan migrant ‘Abdul D’, came to Germany in 2016. His asylum application was rejected in February 2017, he received no refugee protection status.

Because of his alleged age, he was not deported. He was made known to the police several times, partly due to ‘schoolyard brawls’, when he was 15 years old. A medical test later proved that his true age was probably around 20 years old.

Mia helped Abdul learn German. They were a couple for several months before her murder. They separated in early December, after which he threatened her by phone and through social media.

He published nude photographs of her online and threatened to ambush her in public. She led a police report against him, as did her father, in December, and his guardian was informed of the charges.

On December 27th 2017, Abdul and Mia got into an argument in a grocery store in Kandel. During the confrontation, Abdul stabbed Mia. She died of her injuries in a local hospital later that day. A blogger wrote an open letter to Mia’s parents, which read as follows:

“If you had understood even a hint of the Afghan mentality, your daughter could still live today. In Afghanistan, your type of “hospitality” is completely unknown and is interpreted as “subservience” or worse, as a “slave mentality”. When he crossed the threshold of your house, Mia’s death sentence had already been pronounced.”

3. Ebba

On the 7th April 2017, Ebba Akerlund, an hearing-impaired 11 year old girl, was walking home from school through Stockholm, Sweden. She was on her way to meet her mother at a subway station.

While Ebba was walking through the Åhléns City Mall, a truck driven by Rachmat Akilof charged towards a crowd of people, hitting her and taking her life.

Her grief-stricken family launched a desperate social media appeal to find her, only to discover that their daughter was one of the fatal casualties of the attack. Her body was split in two by the impact of the truck, and photos of which went viral on social media.

Akilov arrived in Sweden on 10 October 2014. He claimed asylum at the Swedish Migration Agency. The agency registered his application under a given fake name, although his true identity was known, and despite that—according to the Dublin Regulation—his application should have been handled in Poland, as he already had a visa there. On 9 April, Swedish police said Akilov had “expressed sympathy for extremist organisations, among them IS Islamic State”.

These three deaths were preventable. These little girls were failed. All for the same open border policies which these women in central London were promoting.

My disdain for feminism is not born from a hatred of women, but from a love of women. I want to help young girls by drawing on my own mistakes at that age. I want to raise a generation of truly, truly strong women who respect themselves and who hold themselves to a high standard of morality. These are attributes I regrettably do not associate with feminists. What kind of woman would ignore the plight of these victims because of it a ‘racist’ topic to discuss? To me, their blind support of open borders and dismissal of so-called far-right talking points is the greatest betrayal of them all.