19-year-old man released in Nahid Al Manea murder case

Nahid Al Manea moments before her death.

A second man who was questioned over the murder of an international student from Saudi Arabia in Colchester has been released without charge.

31-year-old Nahid Al Manea was walking on the Salary Brook Trail at 10.40am on Tuesday 17 June when she was violently beaten and stabbed 16 times.

Paramedics tried to save her but she died at the scene from injuries to her head and body.

Essex Police said a 19-year-old from Colchester had been arrested on Friday afternoon over the death.

He was also questioned about an attack on a woman who was jogging on Peache Road but police said he would face “no further action” in either inquiry.

An Essex Police spokesman said: “No further action against him is planned in respect of either the murder or the assault as he has been eliminated from both inquiries.”

Colchester police investigate the crime scene on the Salary Brook trail. Photograph: Eastnews Press Agency
Colchester police investigate the crime scene on the Salary Brook trail. Photograph: Eastnews Press Agency

Ms Al Manea recently came to the UK in pursuit of her PhD for a brighter future at the University of Essex.

The PhD student was wearing a navy blue abaya and a multi-coloured hijab when she was murdered.

Detective Superintendent Tracy Hawkings said officers were keeping an open mind about the motive of the attack.

But she added: “We are conscious that the dress of the victim will have identified her as likely being a Muslim and this is one of the main lines of the investigation but again there is no firm evidence at this time that she was targeted because of her religion.”

The University of Essex said Ms Almanea was a “very hard-working and conscientious” student and was due to finish her studies in August.

A 52-year-old man previously arrested over the death has also been “positively eliminated” from police inquiries.

Reaction

Meanwhile, The Federation of Student Islamic Societies (FOSIS) expressed its unparalleled sorrow that a member of the Muslim student community was murdered.

FOSIS President, Omar Ali, said, “My heart sank today after hearing the traumatising news that an innocent life had been brutally snatched away. This is the saddest piece of information I have had the displeasure of receiving in all my years of activism in the student sector. Our sincere prayers are with our sister who has passed away and we extend our deepest condolences to her family.”

Police at the scene of the murder in Colchester. (Photo: EADT24)
Police at the scene of the murder in Colchester. (Photo: EADT24)

Omar Ali continued: “This isn’t the first attack on a Muslim student and certainly is not the last on a member of the Muslim community in the UK. We will naturally wait for all evidence to become clear – however, if the attack turns out to be Islamophobic in nature because of her visibly Muslim appearance, then it will correlate with the disturbing exponential increase in hate crimes against Muslims here in the UK.

“It is high time that those politicians, commentators and institutions that espouse pernicious narratives about Muslims and Islam take responsibility for the dire consequences of their words – which may have, in this case, led to the merciless murder of an innocent Muslim student.”

With the continued rise in hate crimes against Muslims, FOSIS encourages all Muslim students, especially women, to remain vigilant of their surroundings to maintain their safety.

 

Add your comments below