The Most Dishonorable Crime In Jordan

AMMAN â?? A 26-year-old Jordan Valley woman was hacked to death by her mother and sister after delivering a baby out of wedlock, an official told The Jordan Times Saturday.

The criminal prosecutor on Saturday charged the 69-year-old mother and her daughter with premeditated murder, the official said. The victim reportedly received multiple axe wounds to different parts of her body while she slept, the official added.

“The victim, who has been divorced for seven years, became pregnant and delivered a baby boy on the day of the murder,” the source said, adding that her enraged mother decided to “kill her to cleanse the family honour.”

“The mother and daughter waited until the victim went to sleep, took an axe and hacked her repeatedly until they made sure she was dead,” the source said.

The two then headed to the nearest police station in the Jordan Valley claiming to have killed her “to protect their honour,” the source added.

An autopsy conducted by pathologists Azzam Haddad and Hussein Abul Samen indicated the reason behind the woman’s death was external bleeding. The pathologists also confirmed that the woman did deliver a baby on the day of her murder, the source said.

Criminal Prosecutor Mamdouh Najada is expected to conclude his investigation within two weeks and refer the case to the Criminal Court, according to the source. The victim became the ninth woman reportedly murdered in the Kingdom this year in a murder related to family honour. [Jordan Times]

This is probably the first time I hear of two women (the mother and sister no less) committing such a crime. I wonder how it will play out in court considering they are both women and that the penal code’s language is in reference to a male killing a female relative. I’m assuming the charges will be reduced to manslaughter and they’ll get off with at most 2 years.

Other than how detestable I find the very idea of these crimes to be as well as the criminally negligent behaviour of our own parliament that refuses to pass or accept legislation to remove the honor crime status in our judicial system, I am constantly surprised at the brutality that some of these people inflict on their own kin. Some honor crimes are basic shootings, which granted does not make them any more or less humane however others, such as this one, use weapons likes axes and literally hack away at their relative, or their own daughter and sister in this case. Some have gone so far as to chop up their bodies into pieces as if this were an episode of the Sopranos and it was just another ‘hit’.

It eludes me the degree of barbarism that some human beings are capable of.

The whole system in my opinion is one that is truly representitive of the incompetency displayed by those whom we elected in the Lower House. They can’t fix poverty or unemployment but to constantly reject any government proposals to ammend Article 340? And to offer the fear of doing so will lead to “moral corruption in society” as their only arguement?

I realise many people still support this law in our country, but that’s not how it works. We don’t ask for a show of hands. If you asked people whether they’d like free ice cream every Sunday you’d get an 82% approval rate, and that’s only from ice cream lovers. Leaders lead.

And I realise to some this may seem like a very simple matter in the face of growing and everlasting concerns such as poverty, unemployment, education, inflation and unattained freedoms; but if the desire for reform is embedded in our new civic religion as we journey into this new century, then certainly the code of our humanity must be emodied in our devotion to honor the lives of our children, our sisters and our mothers. Surely ammending our legal system to establish a sense of equal justice for all is a priority.

In other words, social reform must be at the heart of all our national endevours. It is the compass.

Just a thought.


  • I agree, of course, that they should change this law. They should have changed it along time ago. And it should have never existed in the first place. But when we do change it, it’s not gonna fix much, if anything. People in Turkey still commit honour crimes, even though it’s illegal. The problem is deeper than that and has to do with poverty and education. If we improve those, then we lessen gender inequality, if we lessen gender inequality, we lessen women’s internalised-hatred of themselves such that they would be able to kill their own daughters, and we also change the image that men hold of women. So, yeah I think Article340 should be changed, but I don’t expect it to make a real difference. It’s just that it shouldn’t be there and makes me sick that it is.

  • ignorance at it’s best. this is so sickening. I think the king needs to interven in this matter and abolish this law once and for all.

  • bo3bo3, the king can push for a law by way of government (which he has) but the constitution endows legislative powers to the parliament.

    lksfadljk, we have a law that says murdering someone may be punishable by the maximum penalty of death, yet murders still happen. If the penalty was reduced to only 2 years of prison would murders increase or decrease?

    p.s. you need a better screen-name than that 😀

  • I think the King can veto parliament and even kick it out and start again. But I might be wrong about that. I am also against capital punishment by the way Nas 🙂 And I think that in the US you’ll find a lot of studies on whether or not capital punishment has any effect on crime (which it doesn’t). But if it was reduced to two years, I can’t say I know what will happen but I hope, for the sake of my lingering shred of faith in humanity, that murder would not increase.

  • How can someone be this vicious…heartless…emotionless…I can’t imagine! How do they go on living with their lives knowing that they took a piece of it away with their own bloody hands!

    This is one of the sick traditions we have! If such crime was never protected by the law, perhaps committing it wouldn’t be as prevalent!

  • lksfadljk, ah but hope has not humanity’s strong suite. and im not against capital punishment, i think its still a categorical imparitive depending on its proper usage by the state. what i was suggesting was that when government increase punishments and minimums or maximums, they do probably play some role in detering those crimes from happening, or at the prospect of them does.

    and therin lies our problem…those who condone this and refuse to accept the legislation are worried that considering this a normal murder would lead people to stop doing it and therefore increase “moral degradation”…in other words their fear is that harsher punishments will deter people from doing it and therefore “preserving society”…or in the framework of the wild west…take the law into their own hands…literally (if we’re thinking in shakespearean)

    the king can dissolve parliament and can veto their legislation (but the par. can overturn it with a 2/3 majority).

  • I find it hard to believe that the male members of the family were not aware of the intention of the mother and sister. In fact, I may not be exaggerating when I say they probably were the ones who pushed them to commit the crime because, as you mentioned, it is a matter of a couple of years in prison and they are out.

  • IKSFADLJK, I agree with you that changing the law would not stop these terrible crimes, but it will definitely reduce the numbers significantly. One reason for this expected drop is that it will definitely stop the murders that are not genuinely honor related but claimed as such to escape punishment.
    I heard of crimes where guys killed the women they were pimping, their wives and sisters, and then claimed it was an honor killing. Also honor killings in many instances have been the main defense for crimes committed because of family feuds related to inheritance and other financial motives.

  • I am not much sure about how much punishment affect someone at the time of a crime. I would say that reaching to a level of killing another soul means that nothing else matters except of gitting rid of this person.

    But still, very well said in your post Nas. We ought to get rid of such backward rules. It is embarrassing to know that we still have such ones.

    It is sad to know that people are still killing each other for this!

  • Makes me feel sick…nauseous…

    And I wonder, what happend to the new born baby? Did it get butchered to death too?

    And is it really only a couple of years in jail? Because I thought it was acutally just a couple of MONTHS in jail for murdererslike these.

  • This is horrible really …

    I want this law changed not only because I am hoping this would reduce crime, but I want those who commit the murders to be punished …

    So I am not really concerned how the law affects these stupid backward people because as the Observer said: it might not … but I want them after they commit the murder not to get out easily because this is what is happening now …

  • I guess that the problrm also that our women raised up to think in men mentality !!our females Mestarjelat!! u see the female does not sympathize with other women ,,she thinks in men mentality..they raised up on this it’s in thier minds..alla yer7am el da7iyeh ameen

  • Nasnas

    If the punishment fits the crime, then there should be less crimes. It’s time to apply the islamic law of death panelty toward murders. What happened is a musrer, and the mother and sister should receive the death panelty. If this won’t stop such crimes, it will at least be fair for the victim.

  • Please, no death penalty. Let us fix our problems in Jordan, not kill each other. Besides, these people who kill would be ‘let of easily’ with a death penalty rather than serving a long-term sentence in a Jordan prison ;P

  • It’s the baby that worries me the most. Why is it that the innocent children always suffer for the actions of us adults?

    So now the baby has no mother, it is most certain that the father of the child, and he knows who he is, will not claim it, thus doubling HIS sin.

    When is someone going to kill the father, the men, who do things like this? Why is it only the women that pay?

    I think if the men were put to death this might stop a bot quicker, being that women seem to be cheap items, it goes on.

    Why is it that the “family honour” rests on the women when the familes have men, scharmoot, running around?

    The hypocrisy makes me SO mad.

  • Is there any justification for this in the Koran? Or rather, some fucked up bass-ackwards interpretation that gives people religious permission to perpetrate such crimes?

  • I am currently working on a quantitive research paper on the Reasons Behind Honor Killings in Jordan. What I am finding so far, is that the reasons are inter-related including that such killings are sanctioned by the Jordanian Penal Code soecifically articles 340, 98 and the influence of the tribal traditions (off course no offence to any one here, I love our tribes, I think they contribute a great deal to our country) but their old on traditions and their status in the parliament would allow such rejections of the memorandum to outlaw honor killings or even increase the punishments. The third coorelated reason is societal beliefs and perceptions of women and honor. Our society perceiptions of women as weak individuals who need protection but then evil doers whom society needs protection from so they justify their slaughter. Of equal importance is the relation of women chastity to their family’s honor. Please, do not misunderstand where I am coming from on this topic. I am a Jordanian from Irbid who was born and raised in Zarqa and I came here to the US to get education and I graduating and holding BA in Political Science/ Minor in Global Studies with emphasise on the Middle East. It is just inhumane how women have to deal with such pressure and try to function well in sociey and prosper sp hopefully they can stand u for themselves and take part in such important social changes.

    I just thought of sharing my thoughts nd findings with everyone here.
    Allah yehayyeko jamee3an!

  • Rawan, ahlan and thanks for sharing your thoughts. one of the biggest obstacles to getting the penal protection thrown out is indeed the lower house of parliament and the fact that we have massive disproportionate voting districts. the government, or rather the king’s vision has been to rectify that situation as part of political reform. i think once thats done the tribal powers will decrease.

    that being said this is an urgent cause that should have a temporary law if it can’t get past the parliament. that being said the government will meet massive social outburst if they do that.

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