“I think it’s just down to our ethnicity"
The sister of murdered primary school teacher Sabina Nessa says her family were treated differently due to their ethnicity, adding that a white family would have received better treatment from the authorities.
Jebina Yasmin Islam stated that her sister’s murder has not received the same attention from people in power as Sarah Everard’s death has because Sabina was not white.
It comes after Koci Selamaj received a life sentence for Sabina’s murder on April 8, 2022, and will serve a minimum of 36 years.
The 36-year-old refused to leave his cell and appear in court to hear the family’s statements and his sentence.
On BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme, Jebina said her sister’s murder has been treated “differently” to the murder of Sarah.
She said: “My sister didn’t get as [many] headlines, I feel, at the start.
“Maybe was it down to her ethnicity? She didn’t get the front pages on some of the papers, and in Sarah Everard’s case she did.”
She went on to reveal that since Sabina Nessa’s murder in September 2021, the family has not received direct communication from the government, except Sadiq Khan.
Speaking about the treatment of her family, Jebina said:
“I think it’s just down to our ethnicity to be honest.
“And I feel like if we were a normal British white family we would have been treated equally.”
She described people in senior government positions as “useless”.
“They’ve not said anything. Priti Patel tweeted on Friday and I was not happy about it because all of a sudden she’s using my sister’s name for publicity reasons.
“And to be honest she has no right.”
On April 8, Priti Patel tweeted: “Sabina Nessa lost her life due to the harrowing and callous actions of a man who’s rightly now behind bars.
“While I can’t possibly know how Sabina’s family and friends are feeling, I hope today’s sentence brings them a small comfort, knowing this evil monster has faced justice.
“As Home Secretary, tackling violence against women and girls is central to my Beating Crime Plan and I am doing everything in my power to target perpetrators, protect the public and make our streets safer for everyone.”
At the time, Jebina responded:
“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.
“Lack of support from yourself and Boris Johnson just shows how ‘important’ it is to tackle male violence to you guys”.
When asked about Selamaj not attending the sentencing, Jebina said:
“I was frustrated. We were like: ‘He is such a coward, not facing up to what he has done’.”
She explained that the impact on her family has been “horrendous”.
“It’s been traumatising going into court several times, seeing him there the first two times.
“I think the government should do something quick because I don’t want no other family to go through what we are. It’s a bad dream. That’s how I explain it all the time.”