Is Honour Killing Legal in Jordan
“There is a decrease in reported honor killings,” Husseini told The New Arab, noting that this was mainly due to the Jordanian government`s change in approach to these crimes and violence against women and children in general. The justice system also winked at the murderers by almost offering them a slap on the hand for the murder of a relative in the name of family honor. The media was also reluctant to report on such a “sensitive subject” because it was a family affair and therefore linked to the “honour” of the family. The government also completely ignored the idea, claiming it did not exist. A woman who attempts to divorce or separate without the consent of her husband or extended family can also be a trigger for honor killings. In cultures where marriages are arranged and property is often exchanged between families, a woman`s desire to divorce is often seen as an insult to the men who negotiated the deal.  By exposing their marital problems outside the family, women are seen as a public disgrace.  In my experience reporting and advocating against the brutal murder of women, so-called honor killings in Jordan, the recent street protests are an important indicator of how society`s attitude toward gender-based violence has changed. In some cultures, women are expected to play primarily domestic roles. Such ideas are often based on practices such as purdah. Purdah is a religious and social practice of female isolation widespread in some Muslim and Hindu communities; It often requires women to stay indoors, avoid socialization between men and women, and cover women all over their bodies, including burqas. If these rules are violated, including dressing in a manner deemed inappropriate or by behavior considered disobedient, the family may respond with violence to the point of honour killings.
   The actions of Pakistani police and judges (particularly at the lower level of the judiciary) in the past appeared to support honor killings in the name of family honor. Police authorities do not always take action against the perpetrator in situations of proven murder. In addition, judges in Pakistan (particularly at lower levels of the judiciary) appear to increase inequality and, in some cases, punish the murder of women deemed discreditable.  Often, an alleged honour killing is not even brought before the courts, but in cases where it is, the alleged murderer is often not charged or receives a reduced sentence of three to four years in prison. In a case study of 150 honor killings, judges rejected only eight allegations that women were murdered for honor. The others were lightly condemned.  In many cases in Pakistan, one of the reasons honor killing cases are never tried is that, according to some lawyers and women`s rights activists, Pakistani law enforcement agencies do not intervene. At the encouragement of the murderer, the police often state that the murder is a domestic matter that does not justify its involvement.
In other cases, women and victims are too afraid to speak out or file complaints. However, police say these cases are never brought before them or are not important enough to be prosecuted on a large scale.  The general indifference to the issue of honour killings in Pakistan is due to a gender bias deeply rooted in the law, police, and the judiciary. In its September 1999 report, “Pakistan: Honor Killings of Girls and Women”, Amnesty International criticized government indifference and called for state responsibility in protecting the human rights of women victims. Amnesty International urged the Pakistani government to take 1) legal, 2) preventive and 3) protective measures. First, the legal measures concern a change in the government`s criminal laws to ensure equal legal protection for women. Amnesty International has also insisted that the government grant legal access to victims of crime in the name of honour. With regard to preventive measures, Amnesty International stressed the urgent need to raise public awareness through the media, education and public announcements.
Finally, safeguards include ensuring a safe environment for activists, defenders and women`s groups to facilitate the elimination of honour killings. Amnesty International has also called for the expansion of victim support services such as shelters. UNFPA Goodwill Ambassador and Jordanian Princess Basma bint Talal recently joined the calls for change, posting on Facebook: “How many more women must die before appropriate punitive measures are taken. There is no honour in honour killings and we can no longer look the other way. Jordanian women lead protest in Jordan today, demanding legal protection for women and an end to domestic violence and murder#صرخات_الاردنيات #صرخات_احلام pic.twitter.com/3EQV2YKhjn Although condemned by international conventions and human rights organizations, honour killings are often justified and promoted by different communities. In cases where the victim is a foreigner, failure to murder the victim would lead in some areas to accusations of cowardice, moral defect and, subsequently, to being morally stigmatized in their community. In cases where the victim is a family member, the murder stems from the perpetrator`s perception that the victim has shamed or shamed the entire family, which could lead to social ostracism by violating the moral standards of a community. Typical reasons are a relationship or ties with social groups outside the family, which can lead to social exclusion from a family (stigma by association). This may include, for example, sexual relations before, outside marriage or after marriage (in the case of divorce or widowhood), refusal to enter into an arranged marriage, application for divorce or separation, interfaith relations or relations with persons of another caste, being a victim of a sexual crime, to dress in clothing, jewelry and accessories associated with sexual deviance, to enter into a relationship, despite moral obstacles or prohibitions of marriage and homosexuality.         Another woman was killed by her own brother because of a “family dispute” often used to refer to these “honour killings” in which a woman is murdered by relatives who believe she has shamed the family by committing adultery or having sex before marriage.