Murder of Sophia Lösche

Sophia Lösche, a 28-year-old female student and pro-migration activist went missing while travelling from Leipzig to her hometown Amberg in the Upper Palatinate (German: Oberpfalz) where she never arrived.[1][2]

Moroccan truck driver Boujemaa Lamrabat was sentenced to life in prison for her murder in September 2019.[3] Her family has been receiving hate mail and death threats for resisting attempts by the right to instrumentalize it.[4]

TimelineEdit

On 14 June 2018, Lösche started her journey by train and wanted to travel the last few kilometres by hitchhiking.[5] On the way she entered a lorry in Schkeuditz near the A9 Autobahn[6] and she was murdered at a highway stop in Upper Franconia according to the police investigation and her body was carried 1600 km in the lorry through Europe to northern Spain.[7]

Five days later on 19 June 2018, a Moroccan lorry driver was arrested south of Madrid.[8][9]

On 22 June 2018, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez offered condolences to the Lösche family and to Andrea Nahles, head of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) at that time.[10]

On 29 June 2018, the German public prosecutor's office and police in Bayreuth announced that her remains had been found in Asparrena (Álava) in northern Spain and identified using DNA tracing.[11][5]

During a church remembrance ceremony for Lösche in August 2018 organized by friends and family, the chairman of the council of the Evangelical Church in Germany, Bishop Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, denounced hateful comments in the Internet and their effects on her family.[12] Bedford-Strohm, bishop of the evangelical church in Bavaria, knew Lösche as a student from his tenure as a professor at University of Bamberg.[13]

In August 2018, Kriminalpolizei officials brought the suspect from Spain to Bavaria in Germany.

In late August 2018, during the Chemnitz protests following the murder of a football supporter, the far-right group calling themselves Pro-Chemnitz organized by Pegida and Alternative for Germany carried banners with pictures of murder victims, among which was the photo of Lösche which led to her family initiating legal action against those who used her picture to further an anti-immigration agenda.[14][15]

In October 2018, her brother was interviewed by German monthly magazine Cicero on the hate mail and death threats sent to the family after the murder of his sister, for resisting attempts by the right to instrumentalize it.[4]

VictimEdit

Lösche was a student at the University of Bamberg in Bavaria. She was politically active and was the president of the University SPD student club. The political aim of the club according to German media was that Bamberg become more diverse. From 2016 Lösche travelled regularly to the Greek island Lesbos as a volunteer for the No Borders NGO to cook for migrants arriving from Turkey. According to her brother, Lösche was involved in several initiatives "against racism, freedom of movement and opening of borders".[2]

The coroner found no indications that Lösche had been subjected to sexual violence.[16]

Suspect and trialEdit

The main suspect was Boujemaa Lamrabat,[3] a male Moroccan national born in 1977,[17] who picked up Sophia Lösche in his truck on his way to Morocco via France and Spain.[16]

On 14 June 2019, the Landgericht Bayreuth [de] announced that the trial for murder would commence on 23 July.[7][17] While the prosecution had at first suspected a sexual motivation for the crime, the coroner found no evidence to support this and the prosecution therefore accused Lamrabat of murder and grievous bodily harm.[16]

In September 2019, Lamrabat was sentenced to life in prison for murder. The court found that the suspect had at first seriously wounded Lösche with a wheel brace, then killed her later to hide the crime.[16]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Ringer, Margit (2018-06-19). "Spurlos verschwunden: Vermisste Sophia Lösche aus Amberg - Polizei kündigt neue Informationen an | BR.de". Bayerischer Rundfunk (in German). Archived from the original on 2018-11-17. Retrieved 2018-11-17.
  2. ^ a b "La mujer hallada muerta en Álava, una activista a favor de los inmigrantes y cooperante en Lesbos". El Correo (in Spanish). 2018-06-22. Retrieved 2018-11-17.
  3. ^ a b "Trucker jailed for life over murder of German student hitchhiker". The Local. AFP. 18 September 2019. Retrieved 27 May 2020.
  4. ^ a b "Mord an Sophia Lösche - „Meine Schwester wurde ermordet, weil sie eine Frau war. Das war der einzige Grund"". Cicero Online (in German). Retrieved 2018-11-17.
  5. ^ a b "Bruder der ermordeten Sophia L.: Schwere Vorwürfe gegen Polizei - „man hat einfach nichts gemacht"". tz online (in German). 2018-11-02. Retrieved 2018-11-17.
  6. ^ "Frauenleiche in Spanien identifiziert: Vermisste Tramperin Sophia L. ist tot". Spiegel Online. 2018-06-29. Retrieved 2018-11-17.
  7. ^ a b "Sophia Lösche: Anklage lautet auf Mord". onetz.de (in German). Retrieved 2019-06-16.
  8. ^ Rundfunk, Kristina Kreutzer und Rainer Aul, Bayerischer (2018-06-22). "Vermisste Studentin: Sophia L. wurde offenbar in Oberfranken ermordet | BR.de" (in German). Retrieved 2018-11-17.
  9. ^ "La Guardia Civil detuvo al presunto asesino de la joven alemana cuando quemaba la cabina de su camión". El Correo (in Spanish). 2018-06-23. Retrieved 2018-11-17.
  10. ^ "El PSOE traslada al SPD su indignación por el asesinato de una joven socialista alemana en Álava" (in Spanish). PSOE Mérida. 22 June 2018.
  11. ^ "Frauenleiche in Spanien identifiziert: Vermisste Tramperin Sophia L. ist tot". Spiegel Online. 2018-06-29. Retrieved 2018-11-17.
  12. ^ "Amberg: Freunde und Familie verabschieden sich von Sophia L." Spiegel Online. 2018-08-01. Retrieved 2018-11-17.
  13. ^ "Amberg: Freunde und Familie verabschieden sich von Sophia L." Spiegel Online. 2018-08-01. Retrieved 2018-11-17.
  14. ^ "The German murder victim's family taking on the far-right". Handelsblatt Global Edition. 2018-10-09. Retrieved 2018-11-17.
  15. ^ "Chemnitz: Sophia Lösches Bild bei AfD und Pegida" (in German). Retrieved 2018-11-17.
  16. ^ a b c d "Bayreuth: Mordfall Sophia Lösche - Urteil gefallen: lebenslange Haft". inFranken.de (in German). Retrieved 2019-09-22.
  17. ^ a b "Prozess um getötete Sophia Lösche beginnt Ende Juli". www.onetz.de (in German). Retrieved 2019-06-16.