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feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

June-05-03

Man Sentenced to Only One Year for Killing Sister in Jordan

A 20-year-old man, who strangled his pregnant sister to death, was sentenced to one year in prison by the Jordanian Criminal Court. According to the court transcript, his sister became pregnant after being raped by her neighbor, reported the BBC. When news of her pregnancy spread, her brother was called a “brother of a slut.” The court declared the man guilty of strangling his sister to death with a telephone cord in a "fit of rage." Citing that the sister "tarnished her family's honor and reputation... [causing] the defendant to lose control of himself," the court reduced his charge from premeditated murder to a misdemeanor, according to the Jordan Times.

Jordan amended its penal code nearly two years ago to punish men guilty of honor killings; however, women’s groups in the country say incidents have not declined, according to BBC News. Typical sentences last less than one year, due partly to legislation that reduces sentences for crimes committed in a "fit of rage" as a result of an "unlawful action" (e.g. having sex out of wedlock) by the victim. According to the BBC, the UN estimates that at least 5,000 women die each year from honor killings.

Media Resources: Jordan Times 06/01/2003; BBC News 06/01/2003


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