Sunday, July 13, 2008

Jordanian man gets six months for "honor killing" daughter

Firas Press reports that a Jordanian man was sentenced to only six months of jail after electrocuting his 16-year old daughter in 2006. She had admitted having an affair.

The sentence was light because it was assumed that the father simply lost control with his anger, plus the fact that his daughter really did have the affair.

This recent article from the UAE says that fully one quarter of all Jordanian murders are "honor killings:"
Last week, a 16-year-old boy stabbed his 23-year-old sister to death after she disappeared for a month with her boyfriend, the seventh such killing this year.Honour killings are not a new phenomenon in Jordan, a conservative kingdom whose laws are lenient to men convicted of such crimes, handing down sentences of as little as six months if they are found to have committed an act “in a fit of fury”.

Parliament has twice refused to reform the penal code despite pressure from human rights groups.

Last year, 17 women were killed in the name of honour in Jordan. The issue of honour is so central that some men have been known to drag their new brides to a forensic centre on their wedding night, believing they cannot be a virgin if they do not bleed the first time they have sex.

A study by the United Nations’ Development Fund for Women found that 25 per cent of the victims of honour crimes had lost their lives merely because they were suspected of involvement in an illicit relationship, while only 15 per cent were killed after adultery was proved.

The Jordanian National Forum for Women – a non-governmental organisation set up in 1995 – asked parliament two months ago to tighten penalties for men found guilty of honour killings and to abolish article 340 of the penal code law, which reduces the penalty for a man who kills a female member of his family found to have committed adultery. The parliament has so far refused to change the laws.

Mahmoud Kharabsheh, a member of parliament, said the media was misreporting the cases and that there were no honour killings or crimes against women.

“The crimes that are taking place are related to adultery … which has a negative impact on society. This campaign against women is exaggerated,” he said.

Jordanian justice!