February 24, 2000 09:50am
15-Year-Old Boy Strangles Sister in Crime of "Honor"
(AMMAN, Jordan) -- A 15-year-old boy strangled his younger sister with a telephone cord because he believed she was having an affair with a man, a government official said Thursday.
The killing is the third so-called "crime of honor" in Jordan this year. Conservative legislators have recently blocked a government bill that would abolish the lenient sentences handed down to such killers.
The boy told police he had killed his 14-year-old sister on Tuesday night while she was talking on the phone because he considered her to have shamed the family, said the official, who is involved in the investigation.
The boy believed his sister was involved with a man, but an autopsy revealed she was a virgin, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The boy and girl were alone in the house at the time, the official added.
About 25 Jordanian women are killed each year in honor crimes - where the victim is perceived to have shamed her family by talking to a man, dating or having sex outside of marriage. Being raped also can be seen as disgracing the family.
Since November, the parliament has twice rejected an amendment to the penal code that would abolish the article under which men convicted of such crimes are imprisoned for three months to one year. Legislators opposed to the abolition argued such a move would legalize obscenity and undermine women's morals.
The amendment was approved by the Senate. It is now due to be put to the vote of a joint session of the Senate and the lower house.