PCHR Condemns Murder of Woman on Grounds of “Family Honor” in Khan Yunis
The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) strongly condemns the murder of (S. Sh.) From al-Baten al-Samin area in Khan Yunis on Saturday, 08 July 2017, on grounds of the so-called “family honor.” PCHR calls for bringing the perpetrators to justice and taking the necessary legal measures to stop such crimes.
According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 22:00 on Saturday, 08 July 2017, the corpse of (S. Sh.), 36 was admitted to Naser Hospital in Khan Yunis with strangulation signs around her neck, as the police was informed of the incident. According to police sources, an investigation was initiated and the body of the dead woman was transferred to the Forensic Medicine Department. The initial information indicated that the crime was committed on grounds of “family honor”. The victim’s two brothers have been detained to be questioned on the circumstances and motives for the crime.
This crime is considered the first to be recorded on grounds of “family honor” in the Gaza Strip during 2017. Moreover, two women from the Gaza Strip were killed on similar grounds last year in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt). During the last 5 years, PCHR documented the killing of 13 women on grounds of “family honor”, 8 of them were in the Gaza Strip while 5 were in the West Bank.
PCHR expresses the utmost concern over the continued murders on grounds of “family honor” in the Palestinian society and calls for taking the necessary measures to stop such crimes.
On 15 May 2011, President Mahmoud Abbas issued a decision with the power of law, abolishing the eased sentences issued against the crimes committed to maintain “family honor”. PCHR hopes that this decision would be a step towards the elimination of these crimes, as those who commit these crimes enjoy the immunity granted to them through the issuance of eased sentences against them (maximum of 3-year imprisonment). Although 6 years have passed following the issuance of this decision, it has been non-deterrent.
PCHR strongly condemns this crime and express deep concern of increasing the killings of women crimes on various grounds, including the proliferation of using weapon:
- Calls for serious investigations into the death of (S. SH.) and for bringing the perpetrators before justice;
- Calls for prosecuting 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; and
- Calls for making more community efforts, including civil society efforts, to end this crime and raise awareness on its risks in the Palestinian society.