Much of my recent writing has been about "honor" killings or, as I've vowed to call them, dishonor killings. For those who are not familiar with them, here are two recent, representative examples. Read and weep!
Egyptian Gets Six Months for Murdering His Jordanian Wife
By Rana Husseini
AMMAN - The Criminal Court has sentenced a 30-year-old Egyptian man to six months in prison after convicting him of murdering his Jordanian wife for committing adultery with a minor in the Jordan Valley last year.
The tribunal declared S. A., a construction worker, guilty of choking his 27-year-old wife to death after seeing the 17-year-old leave his house on November 8, 2007.
The court also sentenced the minor to two months at a detention centre for breaking the marriage bond.
A few months before the incident, S. A. had a fight with his wife after he discovered that she was engaged in an affair with a minor, according to court documents.
He was ready to divorce her, but several people interfered and he changed his mind after his wife promised to be devoted only to him, the court said.
They have three sons aged between 14 months and six years.
On the day of the incident, the defendant returned home from work to fetch an item he forgot and saw the minor leaving his house, the court added.
“The defendant ran after the 17-year-old, but could not catch him so he returned home and was surprised to find his wife in red underwear; he became enraged and choked her to death,” the court said in its ruling.
The defendant then headed to the nearest police station and turned himself in, claiming family honour as the motive for his crime, the source said.
The criminal court prosecutor had charged the suspect with premeditated murder, but the tribunal immediately reduced the charge to a misdemeanour, ruling that the defendant benefited from a reduction in penalty as stipulated in Article 98 of the Penal Code.
“The defendant was enraged by what he saw and committed the murder in a moment of rage. Therefore, he benefits from the fit of fury clause as stipulated in Article 98,” the court said in its seven-page verdict.
The tribunal comprised justices Omar Khleifat, Hayel Amr and Eid Jarawrah.
A second tribunal sentenced a 30-year-old mechanic to three months in prison after convicting him of murdering his younger married sister.
The tribunal declared B. A. guilty of shooting his 29-year-old sister to death near the Amman-Zarqa highway in April 2007.
The mother of two, who was married for four years, would often leave home without her husband’s permission, the court said.
The victim also hid a mobile phone at home without her husband’s knowledge, which she used to call other men, according to the court papers.
“The victim would spend several nights away from home and claim to be staying at her relatives’ home,” the court said.
The victim’s family knew about her affairs and would often ask her about it, but she would always tell everyone it was none of their business, according to the court.
The family never informed the defendant about this matter because they feared he might harm her, the court added.
Two months before the incident, the defendant heard about his sister’s “immoral behaviour”, but did not believe anyone because he trusted his sister and continued to treat her in a nice way, the court said.
Two days before the murder, the victim left the house and was later arrested by the police.
“The victim’s father and one of her brothers went to the governor and signed a guarantee that they would not harm her,” the court said, adding the defendant heard about the incident and became enraged.
He grabbed his unlicensed gun, which he had owned for four years, headed to the governor’s office and shot his sister to death, according to the court.
The defendant then headed to the nearest police station and turned himself in, claiming he killed his sister to cleanse his family’s honour, because she had been missing for over a week.
The court quoted a police officer as saying that the defendant “looked scared and was shaking so I gave him a cigarette and a glass of water”.
The victim’s family members also testified that the defendant loved his sister and had always taken care of her when she had fights with her husband.
The tribunal decided to reduce the premeditated murder charges to a misdemeanour as stipulated in Article 98, because “she committed a dangerous act”.
“The victim left home for over two weeks and did not care about the culture or her family’s reputation… she tarnished their image by violating her own honour, which the court considers a dangerous act,” the tribunal said in its 17-page ruling, adding that her actions and the challenge to her family’s honour and reputation caused the defendant to commit his crime in a fit of fury.
The tribunal comprised judges Mohammad Ibrahim, Azzam Obeidat and Rizeq Abul Foul.
Both verdicts are subject to appeal by the attorney general at the Court of Cassation within the next 30 days.
4 April 2008
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