Palestine: President Abbas Ensures Stricter Sentences After Woman’s Murder
Monday, June 20, 2011 9:45 AM

The so-called “honor killing” of a 20 year-old Palestinian woman in April sparked public outcry in the West Bank, whose citizens have labeled the woman a “martyr,” the highest honorific in Palestinian society. The young woman, Aya Baradiya, was murdered by her uncle, who disapproved of Baradiya’s male suitor.

Baradiya’s body was not found until early May. Palestinian law enforcement said that suspects in "honor" killings typically come forward due to the lenient nature of the laws surrounding the practice, though Baradiya’s uncle remained silent for some time. In a television interview given after his confession, Baradiya’s uncle said that he was driven to murder by town gossip about his niece.

A Palestinian TV station dedicated a program to Ms. Baradiya in mid-May and featured a call-in by President Abbas’ senior aide, who said that Abbas was saddened by the case and planned to abolish several of the Palestinian laws that upheld leniency in "honor" killings. Late last month, Abbas scrapped laws that had guaranteed prison sentences of six months or less for such crimes. Women’s activists hailed Abbas’ decision as an important step towards abolishing "honor" killings, a practice that remains prominent in the Middle East.


Compiled from: Laub, Karen and Shiyoukhi, Nasser: “Palestinian president promises to crack down on ‘honour killings (19 May 2011).” WUNRN.