Security Chaos and Proliferation of Weapons

Field Update

27 July 2009

Woman Killed in Jabalya to "Maintain Family Honor"

On Thursday, 23 July 2009, Fadia Jawdat al-Najjar, 27, from Jabalya refugee camp was killed allegedly "to maintain family honor."

According to police sources in Jabalya, at approximately 09:30 on Friday mourning, 24 July 2009, Jawdat al-Najar, from Jabalya, gave himself up to the police station in Jabalya. He confessed that he killed his daughter, Fadia, inside his home in a late hour on Thursday. He claimed that he found a mobile phone with his daughter and she was talking with someone, which he suspected as an illegitimate relation. As soon as the police have received this confession, the police moved towards the scene of the crime and examined the victim's body.  They found signs of torture on her body. The police transferred her the victim's body to Kamal 'Edwan Hospital in Beit Lahia, and from there to the forensic medicine department at Shifa Hospital in Gaza city.

Sources of the forensic medicine department at Shifa Hospital reported that there were signs of torture throughout the victim's body, as well as a fracture in her skull due to her was hit by an iron chain.

According to PCHR's documentation, the number of people killed allegedly "to maintain family honor" since the beginning of 2009 has amounted to 9 (6 women, two men and a child) in 7 crimes. One of these crimes was committed in the West Bank, whereas the rest of the 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." Such 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.



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