Jordan toughens punishment for murdering women for “family honor”

Jordan on Sunday increased punishment for murdering women for “family honor,” scrapping a legislation that reduce sentence for the perpetrators.

Under the new legislation, endorsed by the Jordanian Lower House, if a person commits a crime in the name of “honor,” or in a state of anger or shock, there will be no more reduced sentence.

In 2016, more than 26 “honor murders” were committed in Jordan, a 53 percent increase from 2015.

Such crimes are usually committed by male members of the family in the name of defending family “honor.”

The issue of so-called “honor murders” has stirred up a huge debate in Jordan over the past 15 years.

Activists have been demanding for tough measures to protect women, including amending the laws that offer leniency to killers, and providing protection to potential victims of “honor murders.”

Perpetrators used to receive between three months to two years in prison by the criminal court for killing their female relatives in the name of defending family honor.

But in July 2009, a specialized tribunal was established at the criminal court to handle such cases, and perpetrators could be sentenced to life imprisonment for “honor murders.”

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