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Last Updated: Thursday, 3 June, 2004, 12:17 GMT 13:17 UK
Honour killing in Jordan hospital
Queen Rania of Jordan visiting Suweifyeh High School in Amman
Queen Rania has spearheaded campaign against honour killings
A Jordanian man has reportedly shot his unmarried cousin dead as she recovered in hospital after delivering a baby.

The 35-year-old who has not been named then surrendered to police, saying he acted to "cleanse his family's honour".

Stunned medical staff were present as the suspect and his two brothers ran into the woman's room and opened fire.

The 25-year-old mother was hit by six gunshots, the Jordan Times reported, quoting official sources. The day-old baby lying next to her was unharmed.

The two brothers reportedly turned themselves in later on. None of the people involved were named by the paper.

Murder charges

The newborn baby - who was delivered by Caesarean section on Monday - was sent to a government social institution, the official source was quoted as saying.

Jordan map
The main suspect is to be charged with premeditated murder and his brothers with being accessories to premeditated murder, the source said.

Jordan Times says this is the third case of so-called "honour" killing in the country this week. It also quotes official figures which say that nine women have died in such killings this year. No explanation is given for the apparent rise in deaths.

Campaigners say Jordanian courts often hand down very lenient sentences for male relatives who commit honour crimes.

Last year, the Jordan Times reported that a man received a four-month prison sentence for murdering his younger pregnant sister "in a fit of rage".

Parliament has twice rejected proposed changes in the law that would impose harsher punishments for "honour killings".

Jordan's dilemma over 'honour killings'
10 Sep 03  |  Middle East
'Honour killings' law blocked
08 Sep 03  |  Middle East
Jordanian women fight 'honour killings'
23 Jan 02  |  Middle East
Country profile: Jordan
29 May 04  |  Country profiles

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