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Girl Strangled to Death in Qalqiliya to “Maintain Family Honour”

 

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Field Updates

15 March 2009

 

 


 

Girl Strangled to Death in Qalqiliya to “Maintain Family Honour”

Eighteen year old Tahani ‘Afif ‘Uda, from Habla village south of Qalqiliya, was strangled to death on Thursday 12 March by her brother, allegedly to “maintain family honour.”

According to investigations conducted by the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), at approximately 01:00 on Thursday, 12 March Tahani ‘Uda was killed by her brother. Sources from the office of the Qalqiliya police told PCHR that the offender, who subsequently turned himself in to the police, strangled his sister using an electrical wire. The same source stated that initial investigations into the killing found that Tahani ‘Uda had been killed “to maintain family honour”. Later that same day, the body of the dead woman was transferred to a forensic physician for autopsy.

PCHR condemns this crime and:

1.         Reiterates its outrage over the reoccurrence of women and girls being killed in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) in the name of maintaining “family honour”. These crimes are repeatedly committed because of the near immunity granted to the perpetrators through the imposition of extremely lenient sentences. The maximum penalty for these specific crimes never exceeds three years of imprisonment, which in practice is the equivalent of 24 months in prison. 

2.         Demands the immediate implementation of stricter penalties as more effective deterrents for these crimes. The Centre calls for honour killings to be classified as wilful killings, taking into account international provisions and human rights standards. Murderers often claim to have killed in order to maintain family honour in order to manipulate the court system and benefit from the more lenient sentences given to perpetrators of honour crimes.

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