Honor Killings Increased in Palestine

Untitled-1 copyIn two separate incidents last week under unclear circumstances young women were killed in the Gaza Strip. The Al Mezan Center for Human Rights condemns the crimes and calls on the concerned authorities to launch investigations and bring perpetrators to justice.

On Thursday, 20 February, 2014, S.N.M., 18, was killed at approximately 1:30 pm. A report of the death was given to the police by a relative of the victim. Two days after S.N.M. was buried, the Public Prospector’s office issued an order for the body to be dig up to undergo forensic examination.

According to the forensic physician on the case, the girl had been subjected to severe beating in the days before her death. The beating included blows to the head, which she appeared to have died from.

Also on Thursday of last week, medical sources in Khan Younis relayed the death of A. S., 17, who died after being stabbed in her home in Bani Suhaila in the east of Khan Younis. A. S., appeared to have died after being stabbed in the neck by her brother.
Al Mezan expresses its regret at the killing of the two girls and condemns acts that appear to be killings of women to preserve “family honor”.

Al Mezan calls on the Public Prosecution to take the effective procedures to ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice. Al Mezan asserts that the leniency with which the authorities treat the perpetrators of such crimes—who usually allege that they were acting to preserve “family honor”— has contributed to a noticeable increase in what is known as “honor killings”. Since the beginning of 2013 until now, seven women were killed in similar incidents.

Al Mezan calls on the authorities to treat such killings of women as murder and not to look beyond that for extenuating circumstances outside of the law.

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