Thousands of people gathered outside a hospital in Germany hours before the family of a 23 year-old woman decided to turn off her life support machine.
Tugce Albayrak, a student of Turkish descent, was brutally beaten two weeks ago by three men in the car park of a fast food restaurant in Offenbach near Frankfurt.
She had confronted the men, who were of Serbian descent, after responding to cries for help from two girls, aged 13 and 16 in the toilet area of the restaurant.
“She showed great moral courage, stood up and helped, and I really hope that won’t be forgotten. It’s simply not ok for a guy to raise his hand against a girl, that’s the reason I’m here”, said Yakup Simseki, a member of a support group for Tugce.
Tugce slipped into a vegetative state several days ago after suffering a brain haemorrhage.
Up to a hundred thousand people have signed a petition calling for her to be awarded the Order of Merit. President Joachim Gauck said she deserves the respect and gratitude of Germans.
An 18 year old man has been arrested in connection with her death.