Security Chaos and Misuse of Weapons

Misuse of Weapons by Armed Groups and Security Personnel

Field Updates

22 March 2009



Woman Killed by her Relatives to “Maintain Family Honour”

‘Ula Hassan Safi, 31, from al-Maghazi refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip, was killed by her relatives to “maintain family honour”.

According to investigations conducted by the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), at approximately 11:00pm on Tuesday, 24 March 2009, ‘Ula Hassan Safi, 31, from al-Maghazi refugee camp, was pronounced dead on arrival at al-Aqsa Martyr’s Hospital in Deir al-Balah.

Medical sources told PCHR that Safi had been killed by several stabs to the neck and different parts of the body. Police sources from the General Intelligence services told the PCHR fieldworker that the victim was murdered to “maintain family honor”. Police sources added that a number of the victim’s relatives were arrested for questioning.

This is the second crime of this type in the Occupied Palestinian Territories since the beginning of 2009. On 12 March 2009, Tahani ‘Afif ‘Uda, 18, from Habla village south of Qalqiliya, was strangled to death by her brother also in the name of “maintaining family honour”.

PCHR strongly condemns this crime and:

1. Is gravely concerned about the reoccurrence of women killed in the Palestinian territories in the name of “maintaining family honour”. These crimes are committed repeatedly because of the immunity granted to the perpetrators and the leniency of sentences. The maximum penalty for such crimes never exceeds three years of imprisonment, according to civilian courts, which is equal to around 24 months imprisonment.

2.Demands the implementation of deterrent penalties for crimes committed in the name of “maintaining family honour”. PCHR calls for dealing with honour crimes as willful killings, taking into account the international provisions and standards of human rights. Many killers claim their attacks are to maintain “family honour” in order to benefit from the lenient sentences imposed on such crimes.


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