PCHR strongly condemns the murder of a girl in Khan Yunis allegedly to maintain “the honor” of her family. PCHR calls for the perpetrators of all so called ‘Honour Crimes’ to be rigorously prosecuted, and for appropriate legal action to be taken in order to end such crimes.
According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 09:00 on Saturday, 30 August 2008, Hussein Mustafa Kaware’, 67, from Jourat al-Lout area in the southern Gaza Strip town of Khan Yunis, went to a police station in the town and confessed murdering his 24-year-old daughter, Hala, and burying her in land belonging to the family. Immediately, the police moved to the area and took the body out. The girl’s hands and feet were tied and her mouth was muzzled. The body was evacuated to Nasser Hospital in the town and from their to the forensic medicine department at Shifa Hospital in Gaza City. According to police sources, the father confessed murdering his daughter “to maintain the honor of his family.” The police also arrested 4 of his sons.
This crime has been the second of its kind since the beginning of 2008, as a woman was killed by her relatives in Rafah on 3 June. According to PCHR’s documentation, in 2006 and 2007, 28 Palestinian women were killed in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) in this context, including 22 ones in the Gaza Strip.
PCHR strongly condemns this crime, and:
1) Calls for an immediate investigation into the circumstances of Hala Kaware’s death, and for the perpetrators to be brought to justice.
2) Expresses utmost concern over the recurrence of women being murdered in order to “maintain family honor” in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), since the perpetrators of such crimes enjoy virtual immunity as they are sentenced to short periods of imprisonment, usually not exceeding 3 civil years (24 months in custody).
3) Calls for severe penalties against the perpetrators of such crimes as a deterrent, for so-called Honor Crimes to be considered like any other willful killings, and for strict adherence to the appropriate provisions of the law and international human rights standards; to date perpetrators of so-called Honor Crimes have received extremely light sentences.