Woman shot in honour killing a virgin

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POLICE said they had charged a Jordanian with premeditated murder after his 23-year-old sister and her boyfriend were shot dead in an apparent “honour killing”. “The suspect shot his sister four times and her Syrian shepherd boyfriend six times when he caught them (together) red-handed early on Sunday” in the eastern Shumari natural reserve near the desert city of Azraq, a spokesman said. “He turned himself in shortly after the crime, and forensic tests proved that his sister was still a virgin when she was murdered.” The spokesman said two of the suspect’s cousins had been charged as accessories to the crime, the third such killing this year. Jordanian authorities recorded a total of 17 so-called “honour” killings in 2007, slightly up on previous years. The killers often receive light sentences if convicted, as parliament has twice refused to reform the penal code despite pressure from human rights groups to end the near impunity of the perpetrators.

What is an honour killing?

An honour killing is a murder in the name of honour. If a brother murders his sister to restore family honour, it is an honour killing. According to activists, the most common reasons for honour killings are as the victim:

Questions about honour killings

  • refuses to cooperate in an arranged marriage.

  • wants to end the relationship.

  • was the victim of rape or sexual assault.

  • was accused of having a sexual relationship outside of marriage.

Human rights activists believe that 100,000 honour killings are carried out every year, most of which are not reported to the authorities and some are even deliberately covered up by the authorities themselves, for example because the perpetrators are good friends with local policemen, officials or politicians. Violence against girls and women remains a serious problem in Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Iran, Serbia and Turkey.

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