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Honor crimes in Arab World

Recently, there has been a lot of talk about honor killings on social networking sites and social Medias. Sadness and anger prevail as a result of these repeated crimes, and voices are raised from here and there to implement laws that protect women from violence.

The incident was “forgotten after a while because of the lack of laws to restore the rights of the victims. The basis of the problem is human, legal and religious. It’s a real pity “that women are not killed by strangers, bandits, or thieves, but that they are killed by the closest people, and in the most reassuring places, they are killed in their rooms and homes.
Hashtags on social media occasionally occur:
“a martyr of legal treachery”, “A Masculine Community.”,” Washing the shame off “, “the right of the Hasaka girl”…

The latest of these crimes that rocked Iraq was the killing of young woman Norzan Al-Shamri (20) in the centre of the capital, Baghdad, last week, when she was on her way back home in the evening where she was stabbed. , The girl works at a confectionery store. The killer was later found to be Norzan’s brother and he carried out his crime in cooperation with his cousins. The girl (20 years) was subjected to domestic violence, with the young woman forced into marriage for the first time when she turned 13.

After her divorce, she was forced to remarry to an unsuspecting person who used to beat her, and on the third time, her uncle forced her to marry his son after she was divorced, but she died by her brother and cousin because of her disapproval of this marriage.

Before this crime, a horrific murder in the region of Timah in Kuwait occurred, in which a woman was killed by her brother. The perpetrator reportedly “stabbed his sister at dawn, earlier in this month, with a knife after he had held her for two months in the house.

Three months ago, a video showing a minor girl lying on the ground in an abandoned building in Al-Hasakah Governorate, begging the crowd to not kill her. The circulating accounts say that she was killed by her relatives after she refused to marry her cousin. The simplest right of any girl is that she chooses her life partner. This is in addition to being a minor. Several channels expressed reservations about publishing the clip due to the severity of the violence in it.

Two crimes of so – called “honor” occurred in the Syrian province of Al – Hasakah in a few days. After the murder of Al – Hasakah girl by gunshot, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights revealed a new victim of family violence, a girl (16 years old) who was strangled by her father in the wake of a rape she suffered a year ago.
According to the details, the victim Aya Khalfou, was imprisoned by her father at the family home in Al-Hasakah, tied to metal chains for more than a year before her father strangled her after being raped by her cousin.

These crimes have led hundreds of women in the northeastern Syrian city of Al-Hasakah to denounce crimes of violence against women.
The Syrian People’s Assembly, which had repealed a legal article last year allowing for reduced sentences for the perpetrator of so – called honor crimes, has not contributed to protecting women and girls from such crimes.

Family honor extend to include social media accounts

With technological advances and the use of social media in our Arab communities, many young women have gone to Snapchat and Ticktock in the belief that they will be breathtaking in conservative societies. For decades, family honor was linked to a girl staying virgin until her marriage, and they never imagined that the concept of family honor would be extended to include sometimes posting pictures on social media or even opening a real – name account. This explains the use of girls flower picture as a photo of their account instead of their photographs. That space of freedom didn’t like the conservatives, so there were different ways to respond:

– In Egypt, two girls, Hanin Hissam and Mouda Adham, were arrested and tried for “encroaching on the values of society” after posting videos o n the Tik Tok app.

– In Saudi Arabia, earlier this year, the Hashtag “Save Manal, Sister of Quamar” Heavily spread on social media in the Arab world. The Hashtag highlights the case of a woman in Al – Kharg province in central Saudi Arabia named Qamar (26 years old) whose traces disappeared. A few days after the loss of Quamar , it turned out to have been killed and buried in the desert. Manal accused her brother of murdering her sister on the basis of having a public account on the social media site Snapchat!
Manal was arrested by Saudi police after posting what happened on media. Although the identity of the family is unknown, Manal’s unfair detention has triggered a resounding cry on the media.

-In Iraq:  2018, three Iraqi women was killed because of media, including model Tara Faris, who had 2.8 million followers on Instagram.
In Occupied Palestine: August 2019, a Palestinian hairdresser named Esra Al-Ghraib was violently beaten by relatives, resulting in her death from her wounds. It was said at the time that the reason for her beating was to post a picture of her and her fiancé.
In Jordan : May 2020, a 14 – year – old Jordanian girl was stabbed to death by her brother after she created a Facebook page.

Other than thousands, the media reports that they have been killed every year by a family member in what they think is “in defense of honor.”
According to law organizations, there is a lack of reliable statistics on honor crimes in the Middle East. However, although statistics were absent, many incidents indicated the phenomenon. And the list goes on and on…

Women still pay for so – called honor killings, and killing them alone preserves the family’s “honor.”

Strong regulations are needed to protect victims


In such incidents, if the victim is brought to justice, the victim is usually slaughtered twice, once by murder and once by covering up and acquitting the offender socially and legally.
The true figures of the phenomenon are terrifying, and are often not reported to cover up and protect the perpetrator, especially as a family member. The protection of the reputation or privacy of the murderer is sometimes invoked, given the implicit and public acceptance of violence against women by the various parties and actors. “
In the Arab world, “lax laws” allow this type of crime to increase, as “mitigating sentences suggest that any man can kill his daughter, sister or wife” without punishment.

In societies that impose discrimination between males and females, many girls in the Arab world suffer from the phenomenon of male siblings who impose their rule and control on many practices, including verbal and physical violence, intrusion into privacy, surveillance and espionage, denial of exit, friendships or social relations, forced to serve him and meet his needs for food, laundry, cleaning, and other practices …..

The absence and weakness of legislation to deter violence, discriminate against women and guarantee their rights and the inaction of the executive agencies in punishing perpetrators of domestic and sexual violence against women under the terms “honor crimes” and other criminal practices covered by outdated social customs and traditions contribute to increasing the frequency of violence against women and to encouraging and impunity for perpetrators.

The social Media has become a very realistic space, even though it is called virtual. Through its platforms and sites, public opinion is formed and public revelations are made. Everything in the age of digital media is exposed. Every individual in society is an actor.

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