Hundreds participate in silent march for girl, 8, stabbed to death in Rotterdam hospital

Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Wildfeuer). (Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Wildfeuer))

Some 600 people participated in a silent march in Rotterdam on Thursday evening for an 8-year-old girl who was stabbed to death in the Maasstad Hospital on March 15th, the Telegraaf reports.

The march started at the Zalmplaatschool in Hoogvliet, the school the girl attended. Many of her classmates and their parents spoke a few words. Participants carried lanterns and white flowers with them.

Friends and their parents described 8-year-old Diya as a very special girl to RTL Nieuws. A strong girl who was very social and always stood up for kids who were bullied. 

For 9-year-old Kimmy, Diya was her best and only friend. "When we played outside once and I was bullied again, Diya heard about it. She came to me and stood by me. I felt happy then, because I wasn't alone anymore", Kimmy said to RTL. "We worked together a lot at school. We drew and did other fun things. Diya liked gymnastics very much. She was very good at doing handstands. I thought that was great, because I can't do that."

The silent march was organized by Hoogvliet resident Usha Kisoor-Sewnath, after she heard Kimmy speak about her friend. "I heard that Diya was always the one who stood up for others. I thought: who will stand up for Diya? Who is going to give her a face in society? Other people wanted to help, but didn't know where to start. Then I thought to myself: I'll do it." Diya's mother did not participate in organizing the march, but did support it. "I understand that she'd like this to happen. Otherwise I wouldn't have done it", Usha said to the broadcaster.

"Diya was a striking girl", Jolanda, mother of one of Diya's classmates, said to RTL. "Diya had very beautiful big eyes, a full bunch of hair, always a smile on her face. She was a happy, happy child with a great sense of justice. Very open and social. She wasn't busy, but she was there. And she was the best at slime making."

Diya was found critically injured in the radiology department of the Maasstad Hospital on Friday, March 15th. She wasn't a patient at the hospital. The child was resuscitated and rushed into emergency surgery, but it was to no avail. She succumbed to her injuries.

The police arrested the girl's father. He was remanded into custody for another three months on Thursday.