Jordanian man in honour killing

Last updated 01:35 13/04/2009

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A Jordanian man confessed to stabbing to death his pregnant sister and mutilating her body to protect the family honor, said Jordanian authorities on Sunday.

Prosecutor Mohammed al-Tarawneh said the man turned himself into police and has been charged with murder.

The 28-year-old married woman was five months pregnant and stabbed repeatedly in the face, neck, abdomen and back as well as being hacked up with a meat cleaver, according to government pathologist Awad al-Tarawneh.

Police familiar with the case said the woman had moved back in with her family after an argument with her husband six months earlier. The brother believed that she had then started seeing other men.

The names of those involved have not been released.

The incident, the ninth such case this year and the second this month, took place in the village of Basira, in the conservative Bedouin heartland of southern Jordan.

Strict tribal and religious values are enforced in these villages, including the belief that women carry the family's honor.

Around two dozen women are killed each year in these conservative areas of Jordan by male relatives who typically accuse them of besmirching the family honor through adultery or having sex outside of marriage.

International human rights organisations have condemned honor killings in Jordan and appealed to King Abdullah II to put an end to the practice.

But attempts to introduce harsher sentences have been blocked in Jordan's parliament, where the predominantly conservative Bedouin lawmakers argue that tougher penalties would lead to adultery.

Some members of government have also urged judges to consider honor killings equal to other homicides and punishable by up to 15 years in prison. But many in the judiciary still hand down lenient punishments of half of that or less.

- AP

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