The police in Jordan on Sunday said they found the burned body of a pregnant woman whose throat had been slit and her belly cut open showing her four-month-old foetus, in an apparent “honour killing”.
“We found the body of the woman at dawn in Ruseifeh (east of Amman). Her throat was slit in a hideous way. The body was burned after the murder,” a police spokesman said.
“We believe it was an honour crime. The belly of the woman, who was in her twenties, was cut open and we could see her four-month-old unborn child, who was dead too. Investigations are still under way,” the spokesman said.
15 to 20 women die annually in so-called “honour” murders annually in Jordan, despite government efforts to curb such crimes.
The United Nations estimate for the number of honour killings in the world is 5000 per year, although many women’s groups in the Middle East and Southwest Asia suspect that more than 20,000 women are honour killed in the world each year.
Honour killing is the murder of a member of a family or social group by other members, due to the belief of the perpetrators that the victim has brought dishonor upon the family or community.
Murder is punishable by death in Jordan, but in “honour killings” courts can commute or reduce sentences, particularly if the victim’s family asks for leniency.