Brutal Death of Sydney Gay Man Could be Hate Crime
An Egyptian man, who moved to Australia in order to avoid persecution because he is gay, was stabbed several times on Saturday before his apartment was lit on fire. Police say the murder could be a possible hate crime, The Australian reports.
Ahmed Ghoniem, 27, was born in Egypt but moved to Sydney three years ago to live as an out-gay man and to avoid persecution in his homeland. Currently, Egypt does not recognize any form of same-sex relationships, homosexuality is a taboo in the North African Muslim country, and gay men are routinely rounded up and subjected to severe police brutality.
On Saturday, Sept. 29, Ghoniem was stabbed up to 20 times in his upper body and beaten in the head with a blunt object, police said. The authorities report that the young man’s attacker then lit his apartment on fire to cover the attack.
A bystander saw smoke coming from the building’s fourth-floor window and contacted emergency crews around 1:30 p.m. Authorities found Ghoniem and rushed him to the hospital. He later died of injuries unrelated to the fire.
Detective Inspector Angelo Memmolo said police are currently investigating the incident and are determining whether the murder was a hate crime or if Ghoniem met the attacker on a gay dating website.