But the harsh sentences were given not because the judge wanted to set an example for to deter future honor killings, but because the killers did not act in a sudden overflow of anger.
AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — A court issued Jordan’s harshest punishment ever for an honor killing: 7 1/2 and 10-year jail terms for two brothers who stabbed their pregnant sister. But the judge said Wednesday while he wasn’t setting a principle, he felt the men deserved hard time because they didn’t act in a sudden fury.
The ruling comes amid a campaign led by Jordan’s Queen Rania to amend lenient laws that provide for sentences as light as six months in prison for honor killings. An average of 20 women a year are killed by male relatives each year, some for simply dating, according to government figures.
Lawmakers of conservative tribal backgrounds, however, have rejected changes, saying they would give rise to more vice.
The brothers, Raed and Bilal Rabah al-Ajouri, were convicted of premeditated murder in the killing of their sister Amira in April 2004.
According to the indictment sheet, Amira was in a relationship with an Egyptian man without her family’s knowledge. When they found out she was pregnant, her father gave his blessing for the union to go ahead, and she later left for Egypt. But she returned to Jordan to give birth in her home country.
The indictment sheet said when her two brothers learned that their sister was in town, they planned to kill her “to get rid of the shame.” The elder brother, Raed, took his 25-year-old sister to his house and stabbed her to death, also killing the fetus.