Ottawa Spotlight اضواء أوتاوا

Hitch your wagon to a star

Louise Marquis and the Right of Woman

Hello dear,

First of all I would like to apologize you for my late response. Your topic entitled “ Honor crimes or Honor killings ” is an excellent subject for discussion.

However, you deteriorated it due to the classification to the Palestinian or Islamic attitudes. For that reason people considered that it is a political and inhuman issue. For instance, Afrah Al-Kubaisi gave you statistic of the crimes that have committed against the Palestinian nation.

Honors crimes usually have done by people as a reaction, and not by the system. Many examples occurred in the United State of America, Canada and Western counties, and crimes of honor have done by eastern and western people.

An honor killing is one form of female infanticide in the present and it is rooted to the past of all creators. It occurred in animal kingdom too e.g. monkeys.

Sex-selective abortion and female infanticide occurs not only in China's and Arabia but also in all over the world. It is done due to birth control and poverty. It often determined by culture, rather than by economic conditions. It depends on many social, cultural, economic, genetic, and psychic factors. So, abortion could appear as a crime of honor or hate or escaping from responsibilities.

Finally the topic, should take its place as a worldwide phenomenon not as a Palestinian or Jewish, or Monkish or monkeyish or Arabic or Islamic or Buddhist.

According to wikipedia: People are still murdered across the villages of Northern India and Pakistan for daring to marry without their family's acceptance, in some cases for marrying outside their caste or religion.

According to the report of the Special Rapporteur submitted to the 58th session of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights (2002) concerning cultural practices in the family that reflect violence against women .

The Special Rapporteur indicated that there had been contradictory decisions with regard to the honour defense in Brazil, and that legislative provisions allowing for partial or complete defense in that context could be found in the penal codes of Argentina, Ecuador, Egypt, Guatemala, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Peru, Syria, Venezuela and the Palestinian National Authority.

Countries where the law is interpreted to allow men to kill female relatives in a premeditated effort as well as for crimes of passions, in flagrante delicto in the act of committing adultery, include:

Jordan: Part of article 340 of the Penal Code states that "he who discovers his wife or one of his female relatives committing adultery and kills, wounds, or injures one of them, is exempted from any penalty. This has twice been put forward for cancellation by the government, but was retained by the Lower House of the Parliament, in 2003: a year in which at least seven honor killings took place.

Article 98 of the Penal Code is often cited alongside Article 340 in cases of honor killings. “Article 98 stipulates that a reduced sentence is applied to a person who kills another person in a ‘fit of fury.

Countries that allow men to kill female relatives in flagrante delicto (but without premeditation) include:

Syria: Article 548 states that "He who catches his wife or one of his ascendants, descendants or sister committing adultery (flagrante delicto) or illegitimate sexual acts with another and he killed or injured one or both of them benefits from an exemption of penalty.

0ver 60 plus countries in Middle East, Africa, Asia and other Latin American Countries.
Countries that allow husbands to kill only their wives in flagrante delicto (based upon the Napoleonic code) include:

Morocco: Revisions to Morocco's criminal code in 2003 helped improve women's legal status by eliminating unequal sentencing in adultery cases. Article 418 of the penal code granted extenuating circumstances to a husband who murders, injures, or beats his wife and/or her partner, when catching them in flagrante delicto while committing adultery. While this article has not been repealed, the penalty for committing this crime is at least now the same for both genders.

In two Latin American countries, similar laws were struck down over the past two decades: according to human rights lawyer Julie Mertus "in Brazil, until 1991 wife killings were considered to be non-criminal 'honor killings'; in just one year, nearly eight hundred husbands killed their wives. Similarly, in Colombia, until 1980, a husband legally could kill his wife for committing adultery.

Countries where honour killing is not legal but is known to occur include:

Turkey: In Turkey, persons found guilty of this crime are sentenced to life in prison.[8] There are well documented cases, where Turkish courts have sentenced whole families to life imprisonment for an honour killing. The most recent was on January 13, 2009, where a Turkish Court sentenced five members of the same Kurdish family to life imprisonment for the "honour killing" of Naile Erdas, 16, who got pregnant as a result of rape.

Iraqi Kurdistan: In Kurdistan, women are killed nearly every day for 'dishonoring' their families.[citation needed] Honor killing was legal until 2002 in Iraq.
Pakistan: Honour killings are known as Karo Kari.

The practice is supposed to be prosecuted under ordinary murder, but in practice police and prosecutors often ignore it. Often a man must simply claim the killing was for his honor and he will go free. Nilofar Bakhtiar, advisor to Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, stated that in 2003, as many as 1,261 women were murdered in honor killings.

On December 8, 2004, under international and domestic pressure, Pakistan enacted a law that made honour killings punishable by a prison term of seven years, or by the death penalty in the most extreme cases.

Women's rights organizations were, however, wary of this law as it stops short of outlawing the practice of allowing killers to buy their freedom by paying compensation to the victim's relatives. Women's rights groups claimed that in most cases it is the victim's immediate relatives who are the killers, so inherently the new law is just eyewash. It did not alter the provisions whereby the accused could negotiate pardon with the victim's family under the Islamic provisions. In March 2005 the Pakistani parliament rejected a bill which sought to strengthen the law against the practice of honour killing.

However, the bill was brought up again, and in November 2006, it passed. It is doubtful whether or not the law would actually help women.

Egypt: A number of studies on honor crimes by The Centre of Islamic and Middle Eastern Law, at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, includes one which reports on Egypt's legal system, noting a gender bias in favor of men in general, and notably article 17 of the Penal Code : judicial discretion to allow reduced punishment in certain circumstance, often used in honour killings case.

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