Thursday, October 28, 2010

Jordanian "honor killer" has sentence reduced

From Al Arabiya:
A Jordanian man was condemned to death on Wednesday for killing his raped teenage niece to "cleanse" the family's honor, but the sentence was later commuted to 10 years in jail.

"The victim's family has urged the court to reduce the sentence, and it was commuted to 10 years in prison," a criminal court official told AFP.

Murder is punishable by the death penalty in Jordan, but in the case of so-called "honor killings," a court usually commutes or reduces sentences, particularly if the victim's family urges leniency.

Last year, Jamil, 41, shot his 16-year-old niece Abir eight times in different parts of her body after she was raped in 2008. The court did not provide the surnames of the victim or her uncle.

"In his confession, he claimed that he killed the girl to cleanse his family's honor," the official said, citing court papers.

Abir gave birth to a baby boy two months before her murder, and her family kept the child, he added.

Between 15 and 20 women are murdered each year in Jordan in the name of honor, despite government efforts to fight such crimes. Parliament has refused to reform the penal code to ensure harsher penalties.