Ashrawi Strongly Condemns “Honor Killings” in Palestine

PLO Executive Committee member, Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, expressed the urgent need for the adoption of the penal code drafted by civil society institutions, including women’s organizations and other concerned parties.

Ashrawi said, “The law must unequivocally penalize those guilty of femicide and must ensure the passing of the maximum sentences for such heinous crimes.”

Ashrawi strongly condemned the murder of an 18-year-old girl in Jabalia at the hands of her father; it coincided with the killing of an 18-year-old girl by her brother in Khan Younis.

The overall number of victims of femicide during 2013 alone amounted to 28 women.

“Such a rise in the killing of women results from the absence of law that ensures the safety and protection of women, the lack of sufficient legal mechanisms and frameworks to hold criminals accountable for their crimes, and the leniency in sentencing them,” added Ashrawi.

She stressed, “It is high time for the judiciary to carry out its duties in appropriately sentencing such criminals without resorting to any “mitigating circumstances”; they must also push for the ratification of the legal amendments required to prevent femicide and to end the impunity so often enjoyed by its perpetrators. Enforcement agencies are also responsible for the protection of vulnerable women.”

In addition, Ashrawi denounced the classification of such crimes as honor killing.

“The woman is not an emblem of honor for the man or her family; she is an equal member of society. The categorization of such crimes under misleading labels constitutes the exploitation of women, and in turn, it safeguards the offenders and promotes more crimes of this nature,”Ashrawi concluded.

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