A Jordanian man was charged with the murder of his daughter on Saturday in a so-called ‘honour killing’ which has taken Arab social media by storm, Roya News reported.
His arrest came after a video circulated online reportedly showing the body of the victim – identified as ‘Ahlam’ – lying in the street. Witnesses alleged Ahlam ran into the street bleeding and was chased by her father who bludgeoned her to death with a brick before he smoked a cigarette and drank tea next to her battered body.
An investigation into the murder, now referred to as ‘Screams of Ahlam’, is still underway as campaigners are calling for tough action and for changes in the way the kingdom deals with ‘honour’ crimes and domestic violence issues.
In 2017, Human Rights Watch said every year 15-20 women and girls in Jordan are burned, beaten, or stabbed to death by family members because they are seen as having transgressed social codes of “honour”.
According to Article 340 of the country’s Penal Code, a reduced penalty is allowed when a man kills or attacks his wife or any of his female relatives in the alleged act of committing adultery or in an “unlawful bed”.
The penalty can be further reduced under Article 98, where the perpetrator commits the crime in a “state of great fury [or ‘fit of fury’] resulting from an unlawful and dangerous act on the part of the victim”. While under Article 97, when a court applies the “fit of fury” defense for premeditated murder, the penalty can be as little as one year, HRW added.