Palestine: Woman Killed to "Maintain Family Honor"

On Wednesday, 10 June 2009, Sahdia Abu Sa'ad, from Deir al-Balah refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip, was killed allegedly "to maintain family honor."
Investigations conducted by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) indicate that at approximately 17:40 on Wednesday, 10 June 2009, the body of Sahdia 'Abdul Rahman Abu Sa'ad, 21, from Deir al-Balah refugee camp, was brought to al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir al-Balah. Police examined the victim’s body and the scene of the crime. Police sources revealed that the victim's father issued a confession to the police.
According to PCHR's documentation, the number of people killed allegedly "to maintain family honor" since the beginning of 2009 has mounted to 8 (5 women, two men and a child) in 6 crimes. One of these crimes was committed in Qalqilya town in the West Bank, whereas the rest of crimes were committed in the Gaza Strip.

PCHR strongly condemns this latest crime, and:

1) Expresses concern over the recurrence of murders against women in the Occupied Palestinian Territory allegedly "to maintain family honor." This recurrence may be attributed to the relative impunity granted to murderers, who are often sentenced to less than 3 civil years of imprisonment, equivalent to 24 months of effective imprisonment.

2) Calls for suitable deterrent penalties to be applied to "family honor" murders. These murders must be dealt with in the same manner as other crimes of willful killing, taking into consideration international human rights standards. Many murderers use the claim of maintaining family honor as a justification for the crimes they commit in order to benefit from more lenient sentences.

11 june 2009

Source: PCHR