Syria: "Honor" Killing Sentence Increased
Thursday, February 10, 2011 1:25 PM

Syrian president Bashar Assad has increased the sentence for those convicted of "honor" killings to five to seven years in jail. The former law stipulated a sentence of two years for those convicted of killing a relative in the name of “honor”–  defined as “acts of violence, usually murder, committed by male family members against female family members who are perceived to have brought dishonor upon the family,” according to Human Rights Watch. 

Each year, 150-200 Syrian women are killed for purportedly violating social norms of sexuality, according to advocates, but their relatives are given lenient penalties under the law. The majority of the crimes occur in rural or bedouin areas.

Director of the Syrian Women Observatory, Basam Al Qadhicriticized the law for still being too relaxed and demanded a new minimum punishment of 15 years in jail.

Compiled from: Women’s United Nations Report NetworkSyria Stiffens Punishment for Honor Killing, (February 10, 2011).