'You don't know what we're going through': Sabina Nessa's sister hits out at Priti Patel

8 April 2022, 18:34

Jebina Yasmin Islam (left) has hit out at Priti Patel for her response to the murder of her sister Sabina Nessa (centre)
Jebina Yasmin Islam (left) has hit out at Priti Patel for her response to the murder of her sister Sabina Nessa (centre). Picture: JustGiving/Alamy

By Daisy Stephens

Sabina Nessa's sister has hit out at Home Secretary Priti Patel, saying she is not prioritising tackling violence against women and girls and accusing her of not asking her family about what "we are going through".

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Jebina Yasmin Islam replied to a tweet from Ms Patel in which the Home Secretary said she "can't possible imagine how Sabina's family & friends are feeling".

"Yes @pritipatel you don't know what we as a family are going through and to be honest you haven't even bothered to ask since the death of my sister," wrote Ms Islam.

"Lack of support from yourself and @BorisJohnson just shows how 'important' it is to tackle male violence to you guys".

Ms Islam also retweeted a post from someone else, also in response to Ms Patel's tweet, that read: "Must be nice to only have to pretend to care turned down every opportunity to support the family".

The Home Office declined to comment.

Sabina Nessa was murdered by 36-year-old Koci Selamaj on September 17 last year.

He attacked the primary school teacher as she walked through a park in south-east London.

On Friday he was jailed at the Old Bailey for a minimum term of 36 years.

Read more: Sabina Nessa's killer who beat teacher to death with road sign jailed for life

Read more: Sabina Nessa's sister brands murderer 'coward' as he refuses to face family in court

Selamaj refused to attend court for his sentencing, instead choosing to remain in his cell and not face Ms Nessa's family.

He was branded a "coward" by Ms Islam for doing so.

"You are an awful human being and do not deserve your name to be said," she said on Thursday.

"You are a disgusting animal."

She said Ms Nessa sister was an "amazing role model" who was "powerful, fearless, bright and just an amazing soul".

She described being haunted by images of what her sister went through in her last moments.

Read more: 'My world has shattered': Sabina Nessa's sister breaks down as hundreds gather at vigil

Read more: 'When will women be safe?': Hundreds gather for Sabina Nessa vigil

Ms Nessa's parents also paid tribute to their daughter in court on Thursday, saying she was kind, funny and determined.

Abdur Rouf and Azibun Nessa said their world "shattered into pieces" when they were told she had died.

"As a parent you would never have thought that your child would die before you, not in a way our Sabina died," they said in a statement.

Addressing her killer, they said: "You had no right to take her away from us in such a cruel way.

"The moment the police officer came to our house and told her she was found dead our world shattered into pieces.

"How could you do such a thing to an innocent girl walking by, minding her own business?

"You are not a human being, you are an animal."