Hilversum commemorates bullied teen after apparent suicide

For the second consecutive evening, a large crowd gathered to commemorate 15-year-old Marwan Benkodad on Wednesday. The teenager died in his home on Monday in an apparent suicide. He had been bullied by his classmates, NOS reports.

A large vigil for Marwan was held in the Al Amal mosque in Hilversum on Tuesday. On Wednesday around a thousand people, including mayor Pieter Broertjes and representatives of Marwan's school, gathered on a field near the boy's home for a memorial. People left flowers and the police made a car available so that one of Marwan's friends could make a speech through the megaphone.

"Everyone must realize that if you bully someone, very terrible things can happen", Zaki Zannouti said. "Marwan had been bullied for years, while his family knew nothing. How could this be? Everyone knew that Marwan was a friendly young man. I hope that we wake up and that we no longer accept such things."

The police ruled out that the teen boy was killed in a crime, but can't say anything more about the cause of his death. "Whether it was suicide or a fatal accident will never be clear", a spokesperson said to NH Nieuws. 

Those in the Netherlands who are suffering from depression or contemplating suicide may call counselors at Sensoor, 0900-0767 (5 ct./min.), or call their volunteers at a local number. 113 Zelfmoordpreventie is also available 24/7 at number 0900-0133. A list of suicide crisis hotlines outside the Netherlands is available on Wikipedia.