Palestinian Center for Human Rights Condemns Recent Honor Killing
Tuesday, June 17, 2008 8:43 AM

Woman Murdered by Relatives to “Maintain Family Honor”

4 June 2008

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) condemns in the strongest possible terms the murder of a woman in Rafah on Tuesday 3 June, allegedly to maintain “the honor” of her family. PCHR calls for the perpetrators of all so called ‘Honour Crimes’ to be rigorously prosecuted, and for appropriate legal action to be taken in order to end such crimes.

According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 23:50 on Tuesday, 3 June 2008, the body of Khouloud Mohammed al-Najjar, age 32, was brought to the Martyr Mohammed Yousef al-Najjar Hospital in Rafah. Her bruised and bloody corpse was transferred to the Forensic Medicine Department at Shifa Hospital in Gaza City.

According to police sources, a police patrol arrived at the house of Mohammed Hussein al-Najjar, in the al-Brazil neighborhood of southern Rafah late on the evening of 3 June, as the police had been informed of a murder at the house. A police officer discovered the body of Khouloud Mohammed al-Najjar, and the police immediately transported the body to the local hospital. Her father, Mohammed Hussein al-Najjar, was arrested, and during questioning he apparently confessed that his daughter having died as a result of having been severely beaten by members of her family for her “immoral behavior.”

PCHR utterly condemns this crime, and:

1)      Calls for an immediate investigation into the circumstances of Kholoud al-Najjar’s death, and for the perpetrators to be brought to justice.

2)      Expresses extreme concern over the recurrence of women being murdered in order to “maintain family honor” in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT). The perpetrators of these crimes enjoy virtual immunity as they are sentenced to short periods of imprisonment, not usually exceeding 3 civil years (which results in approximately 24 months in custody).

3)      Calls for severe penalties against the perpetrators of such crimes as a deterrent, and for so-called Honour Crimes to be regarded in the same light any other willful killings. Also PCHR calls for strict adherence to the appropriate provisions of the law and international human rights standards. To date perpetrators of so-called Honour Crimes have received extremely light sentences.  

Published in: "Woman Murdered by Relatives to 'Maintain Family Honor,'" Press Release, Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, 4 June 2008.