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Monday, 14 February, 2000, 14:04 GMT
Royals lead honour killing protest

Jordanian princes Demanding change: Prince Ghazi (left) and Prince Ali (centre)


Members of the Jordanian royal family have led a demonstration to demand the scrapping of a law which allows killers to walk free.

The law gives a defence to men who kill female relatives accused of sexual impropriety.

About 4,000 people, including tribal leaders and schoolgirls, took part in the demonstration outside Jordan's parliament building.

Two senior members of the royal family, Prince Ali, one of King Abdullah's brothers, and Prince Ghazi, a cousin of the king, led the protest against the honour killings defence.

Prince Ali said: "The people have come to protest against this law which is against out traditions and against Islam.

"I feel ashamed when we know that such a law exists, a law that was opposed by the late King Hussein and King Abdullah."

The two princes then went to the prime minister's office to press their demand for the law to be changed.

Dignity

The main opposition Islamic Action Front Party, which was denied permission to hold a counter-demonstration, says scrapping the law would violate the dignity of the Jordanian family.

But tribal leaders at the rally said the law was being misused and they denied that tribal and religious traditions were at the heart of the concept of killing for honour.

The law, Article 340, exempts a man from punishment if he kills a female relative after "discovering her committing adultery" and provides for a reduced penalty if he kills her after finding her in an "adulterous situation".

About 25 women are killed annually in Jordan in the name of family honour.

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22 Sep 99 |  South Asia
Pakistan will study 'honour killings'

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