Report: Jordanian Women Threatened With Honor Killings in Jail

A leading human rights organization recently released a report detailing the attempted killings and murders of women by male relatives in the name of “honor.” The Human Rights Watch report also documents the cases of women who have been in prison because they were threatened with honor killings.

According to the executive director of Human Rights Watch, “The Jordanian government responds to threats of honor crimes by incarcerating the would-be victim instead of taking action against the male relatives who threaten her.” In addition, Jordan’s penal code permits reduced penalties for crimes committed “in a fit of fury” as a result of an “unlawful and dangerous act” by the victim.

According to Human Rights Watch, even though some members of the Jordanian royal family have raised concerns about honor killings, little has actually been done to address the problem. Human Rights Watch is urging the donor community, including the United States, to encourage Jordan to repeal articles that are being used to defend honor crimes; to provide assistance for programs that servicewomen victims of violence; to use their influence to encourage Jordan to prevent and fully prosecute honor crimes; and to provide funds to Jordan to train police, prosecutors, doctors and judges to end gender bias in the handling of cases dealing with violence against women.

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Human Rights Watch 4/20/04

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