In Syria, Honour Killers Get Two Years

Article 548 of Syria’s Penal Code had previously allowed for a complete “exemption of penalty” for the killing of female family members who had been found committing “illegitimate sex acts”, and for the murder of wives having extramarital affairs.

On 1 June, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad replaced this Article with one reading: “He who catches his wife, sister, mother or daughter by surprise, engaging in an illegitimate sexual act and kills or injures them unintentionally must serve a minimum of two years in prison.”

Syrian Women Observatory, an independent Syrian website for women’s rights, estimates there are nearly 200 honour killings there a year. The UNFPA estimates that as many as 5000 women and girls are victims of honour killings each year worldwide.

Human rights activists welcome Syria’s move to enforce a minimum jail sentence for honour killers as better than nothing, but are asking that the Syrian government go further and treat all murderers alike – no exceptions.


One thought on “In Syria, Honour Killers Get Two Years”

  1. While this is better than nothing, it still minimizes the value of a life. In the U.S. we often let murderers…and rapists…off lightly as well. It seems that all over the world, the lives of women and children are devalued and animals get better justice.

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