The story of Aya Baradiya's murder is like an incomplete jigsaw puzzle whose full picture may never be known; a dark and disturbing tale of death, lies, rumour, ruptured family relations, shame, despair and anger.
But the killing went far beyond a family affair. After the discovery of Aya's body more than a year after the 20-year-old university student went missing, her uncle confessed to Palestinian police, claiming it was an "honour" killing. Widespread protests against such crimes, led by students and women's organisations, erupted. In response, the Palestinian president last month scrapped historic laws that permitted leniency for the perpetrators of so-called "honour" killings. . . .
Under a 1960 Jordanian penal code, part of which still applies in the West Bank, which Jordan ruled between 1948 and 1967, perpetrators of such crimes are treated with leniency as they are deemed to have mitigating circumstances. The maximum sentence is six months, according to police. A clause in a 1936 British Mandate law, still in effect in Gaza, also allows for leniency in the punishment of "honour" killings.
Reliable statistics are hard to come by, but it is thought there are around 20 such crimes in the West Bank and Gaza each year. Women who have been raped or molested, or are victims of incest, are considered to have stained a family's reputation. Such acts of violation are rarely admitted by the victim's family. . . . (Read more.)
Friday, July 1, 2011
Honor Killing of Aya Baradiya Leads to Law Changes in Palestine
Change takes time in the Muslim world, but it seems that more and more Muslims are calling for change.