BERLIN — Vandals damaged several pieces of a memorial to a pregnant Egyptian woman who was stabbed to death in a Dresden courtroom last year, the police said Friday.
The killing of the woman, Marwa al-Sherbini, 31, led to an outcry in the Arab and Muslim worlds and demonstrations in her native Egypt. Organizers are erecting 18 knife-shaped concrete columns around the city to memorialize her murder, one for each time she was stabbed.
According to a statement by the Dresden police, officers on Thursday discovered that three of the eight columns that were already in place had been knocked over. The group responsible for the memorial, Bürger.Courage, said the informational plaques on two of the toppled columns had been pried off and stolen.
The police opened an investigation into the property damage but said there was “no evidence as to the motive of the perpetrators.”
The chairman of Bürger.Courage, Christian Demuth, said in a telephone interview on Friday that one of the columns was vandalized a week ago; the first was erected on July 1, the anniversary of Ms. Sherbini’s killing.
“There are indications that while it may not have been an organized act that it may have had a radical right-wing background,” Mr. Demuth said.
Ms. Marwa Sherbini was in court last year testifying in a case against a man who called her a “terrorist” and an “Islamist” in a Dresden playground. After she appeared as a witness, the man took a seven-inch knife from his backpack and attacked her and her husband in the courtroom, in front of their 3-year-old son.
The attacker, Alexander Wiens, was convicted in November and given a life sentence.