|PCHR Condemns Killing of Palestinian Woman in Gaza to “Maintain Family Honor”|
|Wednesday, 18 July 2012 00:00|
18 July 2012
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) condemns the killing of W. M. Q. (19) by her relatives in al-Shati refugee camp this morning to “maintain family honor.” PCHR calls for a serious investigation into this crime and for the perpetrators to be brought to justice.
According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 02:00 on Wednesday, 18 July 2011, the body of W. M. Q. (19), from al-Shati refugee camp in the western part of Gaza City, was brought to the Shifa Hospital in Gaza City. According to the Forensic Medicine Department, the victim was killed by strangulation.
According to Major Ayman al-Batniji, Spokesman of the Palestinian Police, the police immediately opened an investigation into this crime and arrested the victim's father and brother, who said that they killed W. M. Q. to “maintain their family’s honor.”
It should be noted that a similar crime was committed in Khan Yunis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, on 23 March 2012, which left K. K. dead.
PCHR views these crimes with grave concern and hopes that procedures will be taken to address the crimes. PCHR also notes that, in 2011, there was visible improvement in the steps taken to put an end to violence practiced by the local community, particularly crimes committed to maintain “family honor.” On 15 May 2011, President Mahmoud Abbas issued a legal decree to abolish the eased sentences issued for crimes committed to maintain “family honor.” PCHR hopes that this decree will be a step towards the elimination of such crimes, as those who commit these crimes have not been punished, but instead enjoy the protection granted to them through eased sentences (maximum of 3 civil year of imprisonment). This has contributed to the prevalence of such crimes in Palestinian society and has opened the door for the undermining of the rule of law.
PCHR strongly condemns this crime and:
1. Calls for serious investigations into the death of W. M. Q. and to bring the perpetrators to justice; and
2. Calls for the prosecution of perpetrators of “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.
 For more information, see PCHR’s press release, “PCHR Condemns Murder of Woman on the Ground of ‘Family Honor’ in Khan Yunis,” 25 March 2012, Ref: 36/2012.
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