In name of 'family honour': Two brothers sentenced to death for killing their sister


Published: 2018-01-22 14:39

Last Updated: 2018-01-22 20:56

Getty image from a protest in Pakistan against honor crimes. (Reuters)
Getty image from a protest in Pakistan against honor crimes. (Reuters)
Roya News Source

The Criminal Court sentenced two brothers to death for the murder of their pregnant sister and her husband’s wife in November 2014.

The incident took place at a farm in Balqa Governorate in November 2014, when the two defendants, 22 and 28-years-old, were charged with the deliberate murder of their 27-year-old sister, who was three-months pregnant, and her husband’s wife.

During the court hearing, the two siblings were calm when the judge was reading the verdict details, however; when they heard their sentence they confirmed that they killed her to “cleanse their family honour”, the Jordan Times reported.

In details, the victim was engaged in a relationship with the man three months before the incident and she became pregnant, but when the case was discovered they got married to avoid the scandal.

“The defendants were not pleased by the outcome and plotted to murder their sister to cleanse the family’s honour,” the court said.

The two victims were in the backyard of their home picking olives on the day of the incident, when the two brothers showed up from behind the trees and started shooting at their pregnant sister. She received six bullets in different parts of her body, and the other woman got one bullet in her back which resulted in her death.

“The two defendants stated that they only intended to kill their sister and that the second woman was accidentally struck by bullets and died,” the court said.

The two men ran away and were arrested by the authorities later, the court documents said.

The court dismissed the claims that they murdered their sister for their family honour and that the fact that she lived close to them was provocative, because she got married as stipulated in the Sharia law and her residence was almost 20 kilometres from where the defendant lived. So there is no justification for their murder.

Violence against women increased recently in Jordan, as in 2016 alone, 28 women have been killed, up from 17 the previous year. 13 women were shot, eight were stabbed to death, one was hanged, two burnt to death, two were strangled and two beaten to death, not all of them were killed by the name of ‘family honor’.

In general, 15 to 20 women are either burned, beaten or stabbed to death by their family members because of the claimed ‘family honour’.

According to the Jordanian Penal Code, Article 340 allows a reduction in the penalty of the ‘honor killing’ when a man kills or attacks his wife or any of his female relatives in the alleged act of committing adultery or in an “unlawful bed.”

 Read More: What laws should be amended in 2018 in Jordan? 

However, it contradicts Article 7 which states that Jordanians are to be guaranteed personal freedom.

Human rights activists and lawyers are calling the Cabinet to suspend this law, as it contradicts with women rights as well as human rights and all the Islamic laws.

While the law was reviewed by the parliament several times, it succeeded to pass the Cabinet and the upper house, but it was rejected by the lower house.