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Monday, 24 April, 2000, 15:35 GMT 16:35 UK
Jordanian women killed 'for honour'

About 25 women a year are victims of honour crimes in Jordan
Two women have been killed in Jordan in the latest instances of "honour crimes" for what is described as immoral behaviour, according to reports from the capital Amman.

In one case, a 40-year-old woman who had been released after serving a three-year prison sentence for a relationship with her stepson was shot dead by her father when she arrived home.

In the second, a 21-year-old married woman was killed in her home by her brother for suspected extra-marital relations.

The two killings bring to seven the number of "honour crimes" committed in Jordan since the beginning of the year.

Protests

The Jordan Times reported that when arrested, the brother said he had acted "for reasons of honour".

Official figures show that an average of 25 women die every year in so-called honour killings, one of the highest per capita rates in the world, in this country of 4.8 million.

Earlier this year, about 4,000 Jordanians took part in a rally to protests against "honour crimes".

Last year the Jordanian parliament rejected a government bill to abolish an article in the Penal Code which exempts a man from punishment if he kills a female relative after discovering her committing adultery.

A petition launched by the National Jordanian Campaign to Eliminate Crimes of Honour gathered thousands of signatures calling on parliament to back the bill.

The group says these crimes occur mostly among poor, uneducated families. It says according to studies, honour killings take place in both Muslim and Christian families.

There have been reports that about three honour crimes take place a year in Lebanon, although local women's groups there say the figure is higher.

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14 Feb 00 | Middle East
Royals lead honour killing protest
22 Sep 99 | South Asia
Pakistan will study 'honour killings'
27 Aug 99 | South Asia
Bride burning 'kills hundreds'
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