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Egypt man who killed sister in 'honour killing' given meagre 5-year sentence

Building of the Egyptian High Court of Justice [Bastique/Wikipedia]
Building of the Egyptian High Court of Justice [Bastique/Wikipedia]

A man identified as Karim A.S has been sentenced to prison for five years after killing his sister in an honour killing after "doubting her behaviour."

Cairo Criminal Court heard that Karim deliberately killed his sister, Suad, by stabbing her in the neck and then trapping her in the bathroom when she tried to escape.

The length of the sentence has stirred anger on social media since even political prisoners have spent similar periods of time on remand in Egyptian prisons.

In February, Al Jazeera journalist Mahmoud Hussein was released after more than four years on pretrial detention.

Women's rights advocates are calling on authorities to issue tougher penalties for perpetrators of gender-based violence in Egypt ­– the absence of tough penalties is emboldening them, people believe.

Weak sentences are commonly handed out to male relatives who murder their female relatives with judges viewing such cases with leniency.

Egypt: Female doctor pushed to her death from balcony after receiving male visitor

In March last year, the international women's rights organisation Equality Now called on Egypt to repeal and amend Article 237 of the penal code which allows men to kill their wives on discovering them in the act of adultery and to receive a lesser punishment than other types of murder.

In contrast, a woman who kills her husband would be given a full sentence.

Karim's sentencing follows an honour killing several days ago carried out by a landlord, neighbour and doorman who broke into the apartment of a 34-year-old female doctor in the Al Sallam neighbourhood, assaulted her and pushed her off a balcony after she invited a male colleague into her apartment.

These honour killings are born out of oppressive social norms encouraged from the top down, which stipulate the rules on what women should and shouldn't be allowed to do.

The government has arrested and prosecuted a number of social media influencers for "violating family values" and "inciting debauchery," which has pushed the idea that women are to blame for men's behaviour.

Last year Egypt had its own MeToo movement following multiple rape and sexual violence allegations made online including a gang rape at a luxury hotel in Cairo.

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