Germans Honor Woman Murdered Trying to Stop Sexual Harassment

Tugce Albayrak, 23, was beaten to death after she rushed to the aid of two teenage girls.

AP

Thousands of Germans paid tribute Sunday to a young woman who was beaten to death trying to stop a group of men harassing two teenage girls in a McDonald's restroom, The Guardian reported.

Tugce Albayrak, a 23-year-old student, died on Friday after being attacked in a parking lot outside a McDonald's branch in Offenbach in western Germany. An 18-year-old boy identified as Sanel M., from Serbia, has admitted to attacking Albayrak and is in police custody. Blurred CCTV footage showed her being beaten on the head with a bat or stone.

Right before the attack, she had intervened when a group of men harassed two girls. She reportedly stepped in after hearing their screams coming from the restroom.

German President Joachim Gauck wrote to Albayrak's family, “Where other people looked the other way, your daughter showed exemplary courage and moral fortitude and stood up for the victims of an act of violence.” As a result, he added, she had “become herself a victim of a brutal crime.”

A large crowd bearing candles and flowers gathered Sunday outside the Offenbach hospital where Albayrak died, and where a vigil had been held since her hospitalization on November 15.

Meanwhile, hundreds paid their respects at Oranienplatz in Berlin’s Kreuzberg district, according to the report.

A petition asking Gauck to posthumously award Albayrak the national order of merit was signed by some 100,000 people.