Monday, June 14, 2010

"Honor killing" news from Jordan

From the Jordan Times:
Two brothers were charged on Saturday charged with the premeditated murder of their married sister in the latest so-called honour murder to occur this year, official sources said.

The 19-year-old victim, who was not identified by officials, was reportedly shot in the head by her 20-year-old brother in a bus on the way back to Amman from her husband’s house in Irbid, one official source said.

The victim’s 20-year-old brother claimed family honour as his motive because his sister married a man against her family’s wishes.

A second source told The Jordan Times that the victim wanted to marry her 19-year-old cousin but her family refused.

“After the family repeatedly turned down his marriage proposal, the two decided to marry on their own and moved to Irbid almost 10 days ago,” the source said.

The family knew where their daughter resided and on Saturday night, they took her from her home in Irbid and on the way back, her brother reportedly drew a gun and shot her to death, the source added.

The victim was the second woman to be killed for reasons related to family honour during the month of June, and the seventh since the beginning of the year, according to medical sources.

On June 1, two men were ordered detained after allegedly stabbing their female relative to death in the street after learning that she was pregnant out of wedlock.
Another article about a sentencing for an "honor killing" in Jordan is illuminating:

The Criminal Court on Sunday sentenced a 31-year-old security guard to 10 years in prison for shooting his niece to death in an Amman neighbourhood in November 2009.

The court first handed the defendant a 15-year prison term after convicting him of murdering his 19-year-old niece at her home on November 29, but immediately decided to reduce the sentence to 10 years because the victim’s father dropped charges.

Court papers said the victim went missing from her family home almost one week prior to the incident, adding that a man spotted the victim at a zoo on the day of the murder and informed her family.

The victim’s father, brother and uncle picked her up from the zoo and took her home… two minutes after they arrived, the defendant drew a gun and shot her 18 times in the head and legs.

Police arrested the uncle shortly after the shooting.

The victim’s father and other relatives testified in court that the teenager “was a troublemaker, would often leave the house without their permission and was once seen in a nightclub”.

“She brought us disgrace with her repeated disappearances from our home and people urged us to preserve our honour,” the victim’s father said in court.

Some witnesses who were present when the shooting incident occurred testified that the victim challenged her uncle by telling him: “I am free to come and go as I wish and you can shoot me if you want.”

Government pathologists testified in court that the victim was neither pregnant nor had she engaged in any sexual activity.

The court rejected the uncle’s claims that he shot his niece in a moment of rage to “cleanse his family’s honour”, adding that the defendant would have benefited from a reduction in penalty if the victim was caught committing adultery, but “clearly, this condition does not apply in this case”.
Too bad for the uncle that his victim was a virgin, because otherwise the court would have agreed that she deserved it (at least in part.)

In Jordan, claiming that a murder was done for "honor" is a valid defense and it is effective for reducing the sentence of the murderer. As a result, during the trials there will inevitably be testimony about how slutty the victim was, because that would have a bearing on the case.

Notice also that the sentence was reduced because her father dropped the charges against his brother or brother-in-law - even though it looks like he was complicit in the murder!