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, due to the belief of the perpetrators that the victim has brought dishonor upon the family or community. Honor killings are directed mostly against women and girls, but have been extended to men. The perceived dishonor is normally the result of one of the following behaviors, or the suspicion of such behaviors: dressing in a manner unacceptable to the family or community, wanting to terminate or prevent an arranged marriage or desiring to marry by own choice, especially if to a member of a social group deemed inappropriate, engaging in heterosexual acts outside marriage and engaging in homosexual acts. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees state that "claims made by LGBT persons often reveal exposure to physical and sexual violence, extended periods of detention, medical abuse, threat of execution and honour killing." The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) estimates that perhaps as many as 5,000 women and girls a year are killed by members of their own families. Many women's groups in the Middle East and Southwest Asia suspect the number of victims is about four times greater.
1 Definitions 2 Culture o 2.1 Relation to homosexuality 3 Religion 4 Honor killings in history 5 Locations o 5.1 Europe o 5.2 Middle East o 5.3 The Americas 5.3.1 Canada 5.3.2 United States o 5.4 Latin America o 5.5 South Asia 5.5.1 Pakistan 5.5.2 India 6 In national legal codes 7 Support and sanction 8 See also o 8.1 Victims 9 Further reading 10 References 11 External links
Human Rights Watch defines "honor killings" as follows: Honor killings are acts of vengeance, usually death, committed by male family members against female family members, who are held to have brought dishonor upon the family. A woman can be targeted by (individuals within) her family for a variety of reasons, including: refusing to enter into an arranged marriage, being the victim of a sexual assault, seeking a divorce—even from an abusive husband—or (allegedly) committing adultery. The mere perception that a woman has behaved in a way that "dishonors" her family is sufficient to trigger an attack on her life. The loose term "honor killing" applies to killing of both males and females in cultures that practice it. For example, during the year 2002 in Pakistan, it is estimated that 245 women and 137 men were killed in the name of Karo-kari in Sindh. Some women who bridge social divides, publicly engage other communities, or adopt some of the customs or the religion of an outside group may be attacked. In countries that receive immigration, some otherwise low-status immigrant men and boys have asserted their dominant patriarchal status by inflicting honor killings on women family members who have participated in public life, for example in feminist and integration politics. Men can also be the victims of honor killings by members of the family of a woman with whom they are perceived to have an inappropriate relationship.
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Further information: Namus Sharif Kanaana, professor of anthropology at Birzeit University, says that honor killing is: A complicated issue that cuts deep into the history of Arab society. .. What the men of the family, clan, or tribe seek control of in a patrilineal society is reproductive power. Women for the tribe were considered a factory for making men. The honour killing is not a means to control sexual power or behavior. What's behind it is the issue of fertility, or reproductive power. An Amnesty International statement adds: The regime of honour is unforgiving: women on whom suspicion has fallen are not given an opportunity to defend themselves, and family members have no socially acceptable alternative but to remove the stain on their honour by attacking the woman.
Carolyn Fluehr-Lobban, an anthropology professor at Rhode Island College, explains how honor killings can be viewed in cultural relativist terms. She writes that the act, or even alleged act, of any female sexual misconduct, upsets moral order for the culture of interest and bloodshed is the only way to remove any shame brought upon by the actions and restore social equilibrium. Changing cultural and economic status of women has also been used to explain the occurrences of honor killings. Women in largely patriarchal cultures who have gained economic independence from their families go against their male-dominated culture. Some researchers argue that the shift towards greater responsibility for women and less for their fathers may cause their male family members to act in oppressive and sometimes violent manners in order to regain authority.  This change of culture can also be seen to have an effect in Western cultures such as Britain where honor killings often arise from women seeking greater independence and adopting seemingly Western values. For women who trace their ancestry back to the Middle East or South Asia, wearing clothes that are considered Western, having a boyfriend, or refusing to accept an arranged marriage are all offenses that can and have led to an honor killing. Cultural implications can often be seen in public and private views of honor killings. In some cultures, honor killings are considered less serious than pre-meditated murders simply because they arise from long-standing cultural traditions and are thus deemed appropriate or justifiable. Additionally, according to a poll done by the BBC‘s Asian network, 1 in 10 of the 500 Hindus, Sikhs, Christians and Muslim surveyed said they would condone any murder of someone who threatened their family‘s honor. The poll demonstrated how the notion of honor killings and views of whether they are acceptable and justifiable crosses religion and is more contingent on the family‘s social culture.  The lawyer and human rights activist Hina Jilani says, "The right to life of women in Pakistan is conditional on their obeying social norms and traditions. Nighat Taufeeq of the women's resource center Shirkatgah (Lahore, Pakistan) says: "It is an unholy alliance that works against women: the killers take pride in what they have done, the tribal leaders condone the act and protect the killers and the police connive the cover-up." A July 2008 Turkish study by a team from Dicle University on honor killings in the Southeastern Anatolia Region, the predominantly Kurdish area of Turkey, has so far shown that little if any social stigma is attached to honor killing. It also comments that the practise is not related to a feudal societal structure, "there are also perpetrators who are well-educated university graduates. Of all those surveyed, 60 percent are either high school or university graduates or at the very least, literate." Fareena Alam, editor of a Muslim magazine, writes that honor killings which arise in Western cultures such as Britain are a tactic for immigration families to cope with the alienating consequences of urbanization. Alam argues that immigrants remain close to the home culture and their relatives because it provides a safety net. She writes that,
―In villages "back home", a man's sphere of control was broader, with a large support system. In our cities full of strangers, there is virtually no control over who one's family members sit, talk or work with.‖ Alam argues that it is thus the attempt to regain control and the feelings of alienation that ultimately leads to an honor killing.
 Relation to homosexuality
There is some evidence that homosexuality can also be perceived as grounds for honor killing by relatives. In one case, a gay Jordanian man was shot and wounded by his brother. In another case, a homosexual Turkish student, Ahmet Yildiz, was shot outside a cafe and later died in hospital. Sociologists have called this Turkey's first publicized gay honor killing. In the country of Brazil, honor killings show up mostly within rural regions but also in the metropolis. Non-heterosexual children, especially boys or transgirls, can be killed if their sexuality is disclosed. The act of honor killings in Brazil has roots in Latin America's more virulent version of machismo. However, it is more common for homosexual individuals to suffer some psychological and physical abuse without deadly consequences, such as being driven from their homes or not being accepted, in varying degrees. The first time a non-heterosexual Brazilian suffers homophobia, biphobia or transphobia tends to be within the family among all social groups. Feminist groups explain this observance by the characterization of the dominant societal attitudes in Brazil as deeply sexist and homophobic, documenting the Brazilian culture as the reason for an abnormal number, when compared to more developed countries, of homosexual youth suffering bullying or committing suicide. and there is a number of homophobic extermination gangs even in regions where far-right and white supremacist groups being unimaginable. Brazil is already in #2 place of this kind of movement in Latin America after Argentina.. Since this kind of violence which is usually motivated by extremist ideologies appears to have come with great strength and very quickly to the country despite its limitations within globalization and its unique features, homophobic extermination groups may have originated in a very homophobic culture native to Brazilian society.
According to Dr. Shahrzad Mojab, a University of Toronto professor of women‘s studies, followers of Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Christianity have used their religions as a rationale to commit honour killings. However, Mojab stated that honor killings don't have "any definite connection with religion at all." She also pointed out that honor killings have been practised before any major religion came into existence. Widney Brown, the advocacy director of Human Rights Watch, said that the practice "goes across cultures and across religions." Human rights advocates have compared "honor killing" to "crimes of passion" in Latin America (which are sometimes treated extremely leniently) and also to the killing of women for lack of dowry in India.
Tahira Shaid Khan, a professor of women‘s issues at Aga Khan University, notes that there is nothing in the Qur'an that permits or sanctions honor killings. The first and most basic right in the Qur'an that every Muslim is expected to follow is, in fact, the right to life.  As written in the Qur'an, For that cause We decreed for the Children of Israel that whosoever killeth a human being for other than manslaughter or corruption in the earth, it shall be as if he had killed all mankind, and whoso saveth the life of one, it shall be as if he had saved the life of all mankind. Our messengers came unto them of old with clear proofs (of Allah's Sovereignty), but afterwards lo! many of them became prodigals in the earth. (5:32) . Khan instead blames it on attitudes (across different classes, ethnic and religious groups) that view women as property with no rights of their own as the motivation for honor killings. Khan also argues that this view results in violence against women and their being turned ―into a commodity which can be exchanged, bought and sold.‖  A survey by author, Ellen Sheeley revealed that 20% of Jordanites sampled, believe that Islam condones and even supports murder in the name of family honor. Others note how religious meaning attached to terms such as virginity and bride-price help to reinforce social traditions and the control of women‘s body and their sexuality. 
 Honor killings in history
As noted by Christian Arab writer, Norma Khouri, honor killings originate from the belief that a woman‘s chastity is the property of her families, a cultural norm that dates back to 1200 B.C., under the rule of Hammarabi and other Assyrian tribes. Matthew Goldstein has also noted that honor killings were encouraged in ancient Rome, where male family members who did not take actions against the female adulterers in their family were "actively persecuted". Lavinia, in Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus, is killed by her father after having been raped and mutilated. In Lewis Grassic Gibbon's novel Spartacus the Romans are described as killing their women who had been raped by the rebel slaves. In ancient Rome, being raped was seen as dishonorable to the point of destroying a woman's life and reputation, and honor killing was supposed to be a "merciful" act. The origin of honor killings and the control of women is evidenced throughout history in the culture and tradition of many regions. Roman law Pater familias gave complete control to the men of the family for both their children and wives. Under these laws, the lives of children and wives were at the sole discretion of the men in their family. Ancient Roman Law also established historical roots of honor killings through his law stating that women found guilty of adultery could be killed by their husband in whatever manner the husband desired. In Greece, the lives of women were too dictated by their husbands as women were considered socially below males.  It has been noted how in ancient Babylonian, Egypt, Chinese, North American Native American tribes and Persian cultures, women convicted of adultery were subjected to extreme punishments.
In Babylonian societies, women suspected of adultery were forced to throw themselves into a river to prove they were innocent. In Egyptian culture, imprisonment, flogging, or mutilation were common punishments for women who had been convicted of adultery. Chinese culture suggested that husbands cut off the hair of adulterous women and then lead them to their death by an elephant trained to kill. Some Native American tribes punished adulterous women by cutting off their limbs and mutilating their bodies. In Persia, adulterous women were left to die after being placed into a well.  Qays bin Asim, ancient leader of Banu Tamim is credited by some historians as the first to kill children on the basis of honor. It is recorded that he murdered all of his daughters to prevent them from ever causing him any kind of dishonor. 
According to the UN in 2002: The report of the Special Rapporteur... concerning cultural practices in the family that are violent towards women (E/CN.4/2002/83), indicated that honour killings had been reported in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Pakistan, the Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey, Yemen, and other Mediterranean and Persian Gulf countries, and that they had also taken place in western countries such as France, Germany and the United Kingdom, within migrant communities. In addition, the UN Commision on Human Rights report honor killings in the nations of Bangladesh, Brazil, Ecuador, India, Israel, Italy, Morocco, Sweden, Turkey, and Uganda. According to Widney Brown, advocacy director for Human Rights Watch, the practice of honor killing "goes across cultures and across religions."
In 2005 Der Spiegel reported: "In the past four months, six Muslim women living in Berlin have been killed by family members". The article went on to cover the case of Hatun Sürücü, who was killed by her brother for not staying with the husband she was forced to marry, and of "living like a German". Precise statistics on how many women die every year in such honor killings are hard to come by, as many crimes are never reported, said Myria Boehmecke of the Tuebingen-based women's group Terre des Femmes. The group tries to protect Muslim girls and women from oppressive families. The Turkish women's organization Papatya has documented 40 instances of honor killings in Germany since 1996. Hatun Sürücü's brother was convicted of murder and jailed for nine years and three months by a German court in 2006. In March 2009 Turkish immigrant Gülsüm S. was killed for a relationship outside her family's plan for an arranged marriage. In Sweden the 26-year-old Kurdish woman Fadime Şahindal was killed by her father in 2002. Every year in the United Kingdom (UK), officials estimate that at least a dozen women are victims of honor killings, almost exclusively within Asian and Middle Eastern families. Often cases cannot be resolved due to the unwillingness of family, relatives and communities to testify.
A 2006 BBC poll for the Asian network in the UK found that one in ten of the 500 young Asians polled said that they could condone the killing of someone who dishonored their family. In the UK, in December 2005, Nazir Afzal, Director, west London, of Britain's Crown Prosecution Service, stated that the United Kingdom has seen "at least a dozen honour killings" between 2004 and 2005. While precise figures do not exist for the perpetrators' cultural backgrounds, Diana Nammi of the UK's Iranian and Kurdish Women's Rights Organisation is reported to have said: "about two-thirds are Muslim. Yet they can also be Hindu and Sikh" In 2010, Britain saw a 47% rise of honor-related crimes. Data from police agencies in the UK report 2283 cases in 2010, and an estimated of 500 more from jurisdictions that did not provide reports. Most of the attacks were conducted in cities that had high immigrant populations. The issue of honor killings has risen to prominence in Europe in recent years, prompting the need to address the occurrence of honor killings. The 2009 European Parliamentary Assembly noted this in their Resolution 1681 which noted the dire need to address honor crimes. The resolution stated that: "On so-called "honor crimes," the Parliamentary Assembly notes that the problem, far from diminishing, has worsened, including in Europe. It mainly affects women, who are its most frequent victims, both in Europe and the rest of the world, especially in patriarchal and fundamentalist communities and societies." For this reason, it asked the Council of Europe member states to 'draw up and put into effect national action plans to combat violence against women, including violence committed in the name of so-called 'honor,' if they have not already done so.'"
Another well-known case was Heshu Yones, stabbed to death by her Kurdish father in London in 2002 when her family heard a love song dedicated to her and suspected she had a boyfriend. Other examples include the killing of Tulay Goren, a Kurdish Shia Muslim girl who immigrated with her family from Turkey, and Samaira Nazir (Pakistani Muslim). However, a lesser-known case is that of Gurmeet Singh Ubhi, a Sikh man who, in February 2011, was found guilty of the murder of his 24 year-old daughter, Amrit Kaur Ubhi in 2010. Mr. Ubhi was found to have murdered his daughter because he disapproved of her being 'too westernised'. Likewise he also disapproved of the fact that she was dating a non-Sikh man. In 2011, Belgium held its first honor killing trial, in which four Pakistani family members were found guilty of killing their daughter and sibling, Sadia Sheikh. Honour killings also affect gays in Europe. In 2008 a man had to flee from Turkey after his boyfriend was killed by his own father. In 2011, in Cerignola, Italy, a man stabbed his brother 19 times because his homosexuality was a «dishonour to the family».
 Middle East
In 2008 a woman was killed in Saudi Arabia by her father for "chatting" to a man on Facebook. The killing became public only when a Saudi cleric referred to the case to criticise Facebook for the strife it caused. A June 2008 report by the Turkish Prime Ministry's Human Rights Directorate said that in Istanbul alone there was one honor killing every week, and reported over 1,000 during the previous five years. It added that metropolitan cities were the location of many of these, due to growing Kurdish immigration to these cities from the East. In 2009 a Turkish news agency reported that a 2-day-old boy who was born out of wedlock had been killed for honor. The maternal grandmother of the infant, along with six other persons, including a doctor who had reportedly accepted a bribe to not report the birth, were arrested. The grandmother is suspected of fatally suffocating the infant. The child's mother, 25, was also arrested; she stated that her family had made the decision to kill the child. A girl in Turkey was killed after her family heard a song and thought she had a boyfriend. In 2010 a 16-year-old girl was buried alive by relatives for befriending boys in Southeast Turkey; her corpse was found 40 days after she went missing. Ahmet Yildiz, 26, a Turkish physics student who represented his country at an international gay conference in the United States in 2008, was shot leaving a cafe in Istanbul. It is believed Yildiz was the victim of the country's first gay honor killing. There are no exact official numbers about honor killings of women in Lebanon; many honor killings are arranged to look like accidents, but the figure is believed to be 40 to 50 per year. A 2007 report by Amnesty International said that the Lebanese media in 2001 reported 2–3 honor killings per month in Lebanon, although the number is believed by lawyers to be higher. On Aug 4th 2011 the Lebanese parliament agreed with a majority to abolish Article 562 which for years worked as an excuse for honor killing. The Palestinian Authority, using a clause in the Jordanian penal code still in effect in the West Bank, exempts men from punishment for killing a female relative if she has brought dishonor to the family. Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority, promised to change the discriminatory law, but no action has been taken. According to UNICEF, in 2000 two-thirds of all killings in the Palestinian territories were honor killings. As many as 133 women were killed in the Iraqi city of Basra alone in 2006—79 for violation of "Islamic teachings" and 47 for honor killings, according to IRIN, the news branch of the U.N.'s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Amnesty International says that armed groups, not the government, also kill politically active women and those who did not follow a strict dress code, as well as women who are perceived as human rights defenders. Jordan, considered one of the most liberal countries in the Middle East, still has instances of honor killings. In Jordan there is relatively little sex discrimination compared to other most other countries in the region, and women are permitted to vote, but men receive reduced sentences for killing their wives or female family members if they have brought dishonor to their family. Families often get sons under the age of 18—legally minors—to commit honor killings; the juvenile law allows convicted minors to serve time in a juvenile detention center and be released
with a clean criminal record at the age of 18. Rana Husseini, a leading journalist on the topic of honor killings, states that ―under the existing law, people found guilty of committing honor killings often receive sentences as light as six months in prison‖. There has been public support in Jordan to amend Articles 340 and 98. In 1999 King Abdullah created a council to review the sex inequalities in the country. The Council returned with a recommendation to repeal Article 340. ―[T]he cabinet approved the recommendation, the measure was presented to parliament twice in November 1999 and January 2000 and in both cases, though approved by the upper house, it failed to pass the elected lower house‖. In 2001, after parliament was suspended, a number of temporary laws were created which were subject to parliamentary ratification. One of the amendments was that ―husbands would no longer be exonerated for killing unfaithful wives, but instead the circumstances would be considered as evidence for mitigating punishments‖. In the interest of sex equality, women were given the same reduction in punishment if found guilty of the crime. But parliament returned to session in 2003 and the new amendments were rejected by the lower house after two successful readings in the upper house.
 The Americas
 Canada A 2007 study by Dr. Amin Muhammad and Dr. Sujay Patel of Memorial University, Canada, investigated how the practice of honor killings has been brought to Canada. The report explained that "[w]hen people come and settle in Canada they can bring their traditions and forcefully follow them. In some cultures, people feel some boundaries are never to be crossed, and if someone would violate those practices or go against it, then killing is justified to them." The report noted that "In different cultures, they can get away without being punished—the courts actually sanction them under religious contexts". The report also said that the people who commit these crimes are usually mentally ill, and that the mental health aspect is often ignored by Western observers because of a lack of understanding of the insufficiently developed state of mental healthcare in developing countries in which honor killings are prevalent. In 2006, the brother of Khatera Sadiqi was convicted of murdering her and her fiancé; he stated he wanted his sister to respect their father. In 2010, Muhammad Parvez and his son Waqas were convicted of murder of 16-year-old Aqsa Parvez, allegedly regarding conflict over her wearing a traditional hijab. In 2012 Mohammad Shafia, Tooba Yahya, and their son Hamed were found guilty of four counts each of first-degree murder for the 2009 killing of Shafia and Yahya's three daughters, and Shafia's first wife, where the four were drowned in a mass honour killing at Kingston, Ontario. The Canadian citizenship study guide mentions that ―Canada's openness and generosity do not extend to barbaric cultural practices that tolerate spousal abuse, 'honour killings', female genital mutilation, forced marriage or other gender-based violence.‖  United States
Main article: Honor killing in the United States A 2009 artivle by Phyllis Chesler in Middle East Quarterly argues that the United States is far behind Europe in acknowledging that honor killings are a special form of domestic violence, requiring special training and special programs to protect the young women and girls most likely to be the victim of such practices. The article suggests that the fear of being labeled "culturally insensitive" often prevents government officials in the United States and the media from identifying and accurately reporting these incidents as "honor killings" when they occur. Failing to accurately describe the problem makes it more difficult to develop public policies to address it. The article also suggests that, although there are not many cases of honor killings within the United States, ninety percent of documented honor killings in Europe and the United States featured killers who were Muslim, and most of the murders were Muslims killing other Muslims. For these documented cases in North America and Europe also, the victim was murdered because they were believed to have acted in a way against the religion of the family.
 Latin America
In Latin America, honor killings are sometimes referred to as dowry deaths and bride burnings. Crimes of passion within Latin America have also been compared to honor killings. Similar to honor killings, crimes of passion often feature the murder of women by a husband, family member, or boyfriends and the crime is often condoned or sanctioned.  In the country of Peru, for example, 70 percent of the murders of women in one year were committed by a husband, boyfriend or lover, and most often jealousy or suspicions of infidelity are cited as the reasons for the murders.  Similar laws were struck down over the past two decades: according to human rights lawyer Julie Mertus "in Brazil, until 1991 wife killings were considered to be noncriminal 'honor killings'; in just one year, nearly eight hundred husbands killed their wives. Similarly, in Colombia, until 1980, a husband legally could kill his wife for committing adultery."
 South Asia
 Pakistan Main article: Honour killing in Pakistan In Pakistan honor killings are known locally as karo-kari. An Amnesty International report noted "the failure of the authorities to prevent these killings by investigating and punishing the perpetrators." Recent cases include that of three teenage girls who were buried alive after refusing arranged marriages. Another case was that of Taslim Khatoon Solangi, 17, of Hajna Shah village in Khairpur district, which was widely reported after her father, 57-year-old Gul Sher Solangi, publicized the case. He alleged his eight-months-pregnant daughter was tortured and killed on March 7 on the orders of her father-in-law, who accused her of carrying a child conceived out of wedlock. Statistically, honor killings have a high level of support in
Pakistan's rural society, despite widespread condemnation from human rights groups. In 2002 alone over 382 people, about 245 women and 137 men, became victims of honor killings in the Sindh province of Pakistan. Over the course of six years, more than 4,000 women have died as victims of honor killings in Pakistan from 1999 to 2004. In 2005 the average annual number of honor killings for the whole nation was stated to be more than 10,000 per year.  According to women's rights advocates, the concepts of women as property, and of honor, are so deeply entrenched in the social, political and economic fabric of Pakistan that the government mostly ignores the regular occurrences of women being killed and maimed by their families."  Frequently, women killed in honor killings are recorded as having committed suicide or died in accidents. A conference held in May 2005 in Islamabad addressed whether Pakistani law, governments and international agencies were having any success in reducing honor killings in the country. They found that more cases of honor killing are being reported rather than hidden, and more women are having the courage to come forward. But they found there was a severe lack of proper implementation of laws and assurances that men who commit honor killings are not given lighter sentences. The conference found fault with Pakistan's Zina laws that put women in an unfair disadvantage and inferior position, often at the mercy of men to prove their innocence. It is noted by sociologists that honor killings do not necessarily have to do with religion, but rather the cultures in different regions. Savitri Goonesekere qualifies this claim, saying that Islamic leaders in Pakistan use religious justifications for sanctioning honor killings.  India Honor killings have been reported in northern regions of India, mainly in the Indian states of Uttarakhand, Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, as a result of people marrying without their family's acceptance, and sometimes for marrying outside their caste or religion. In contrast, honor killings are rare to non-existent in South India and the western Indian states of Maharashtra and Gujarat. In some other parts of India, notably West Bengal, honor killings ceased about a century ago, largely due to the activism and influence of reformists such as Vivekananda, Ramakrishna, Vidyasagar and Raja Ram Mohan Roy. Among Rajputs, marriages with members of other castes can provoke the killing of the married couple and immediate family members. This form of honor killing is attributed[who?] to Rajput culture and traditional views on the perceived "purity" of a lineage. The Indian state of Punjab has a large number of honor killings. According to data compiled by the Punjab Police, 34 honor killings were reported in the state between 2008 and 2010: 10 in 2008, 20 in 2009, and four in 2010 . Haryana and Uttarakhand are also notorious for incidents of honor killing, mainly in the upper caste of society, among rajputs and jaats. Bhagalpur in the eastern Indian state of Bihar has also been notorious for honor killings. Recent cases include a 16-year-old girl, Imrana, from Bhojpur who was set on fire inside her house in a case of what the police called ‗moral vigilantism‘. The victim had screamed for help for about 20 minutes before neighbours arrived,
only to find her smouldering body. She was admitted to a local hospital, where she later died from her injuries. In May 2008, Jayvirsingh Bhadodiya shot his daughter Vandana Bhadodiya and struck her on the head with an axe. In June 2010 some incidents were reported even from Delhi. In a landmark judgment in March 2010, Karnal district court ordered the execution of five perpetrators of an honor killing in Kaithal, and imprisoning for life the khap (local caste-based council) chief who ordered the killings of Manoj Banwala (23) and Babli (19), a man and woman of the same clan who eloped and married in June 2007. Despite having been given police protection on court orders, they were kidnapped; their mutilated bodies were found a week later in an irrigation canal. In 1990 the National Commission for Women set up a statutory body in order to address the issues of honor killings among some ethnic groups in North India. This body reviewed constitutional, legal and other provisions as well as challenges women face. The NCW's activism has contributed significantly towards the reduction of honor killings in rural areas of North India. According to Pakistani activists Hina Jilani and Eman M. Ahmed, Indian women are considerably better protected against honor killings by Indian law and government than Pakistani women, and they have suggested that governments of countries affected by honor killings use Indian law as a model in order to prevent honor killings in their respective societies. In June 2010, scrutinizing the increasing number of honor killings, the Supreme Court of India issued notices to the Central Government and six states including Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan to take preventive measures against honor killings. Alarmed by the rise of honor killings, the Government planned to bring a bill in the Monsoon Session of Parliament July 2010[dated info] to provide for deterrent punishment for 'honor' killings .
 In national legal codes
According to the report of the United Nations Special Rapporteur submitted to the 58th session of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in 2002 concerning cultural practices in the family that reflect violence against women (E/CN.4/2002/83): The Special Rapporteur indicated that there had been contradictory decisions with regard to the honour defense in Brazil, and that legislative provisions allowing for partial or complete defense in that context could be found in the penal codes of Argentina, Ecuador, Egypt, Guatemala, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Peru, Syria, Venezuela and the Palestinian National Authority. Countries where the law is interpreted to allow men to kill female relatives in a premeditated effort as well as for crimes of passions, in flagrante delicto in the act of committing adultery, include:
Haiti: Article 269 of the penal code states "in the case of adultery as provided for in Article 284, the murder by a husband of his wife and/or her partner, immediately upon discovering them in flagrante delicto in the conjugal abode, is to be pardoned." Jordan: Part of article 340 of the Penal Code states that "he who discovers his wife or one of his female relatives committing adultery and kills, wounds, or injures one of them, is exempted from any penalty." This has twice been put forward for cancellation by the government, but was retained by the Lower House of the Parliament, in 2003: a year in which at least seven honor killings took place. Article 98 of the Penal Code is often cited alongside Article 340 in cases of honor killings. ―Article 98 stipulates that a reduced sentence is applied to a person who kills another person in a ‗fit of fury‘‖.
Countries that allow men to kill female relatives in flagrante delicto (but without premeditation) include:
Syria: In 2009, Article 548 of the Syrian Law code was amended. Beforehand, the article waived any punishment for males who committed murder on a female family member for inappropriate sex acts. Article 548 states that "He who catches his wife or one of his ascendants, descendants or sister committing adultery (flagrante delicto) or illegitimate sexual acts with another and he killed or injured one or both of them benefits from a reduced penalty, that should not be less than 2 years in prison in case of a killing." Article 192 states that a judge may opt for reduced punishments (such as short-term imprisonment) if the killing was done with an honorable intent. In addition to this, Article 242 says that a judge may reduce a sentence for murders that were done in rage and caused by an illegal act committed by the victim. 
Countries that allow husbands to kill only their wives in flagrante delicto (based upon the Napoleonic code) include:
Morocco: Revisions to Morocco's criminal code in 2003 helped improve women's legal status by eliminating unequal sentencing in adultery cases. Article 418 of the penal code granted extenuating circumstances to a husband who kills, injures, or beats his wife and/or her partner, when catching them in flagrante delicto while committing adultery. While this article has not been repealed, the penalty for committing this crime is at least now the same for both genders. In two Latin American countries, similar laws were struck down over the past two decades: according to human rights lawyer Julie Mertus "in Brazil, until 1991 wife killings were considered to be non-criminal 'honor killings'; in just one year, nearly eight hundred husbands killed their wives. Similarly, in Colombia, until 1980, a husband legally could kill his wife for committing adultery."
Countries where honor killing is not legal but is known to occur include:
Italy: Article 133 and 62 of the Italian Penal Code offer the possibility of reduced sentencing and punishment for crimes that occur within the offender‘s cultural norms. In
the case of honor killings and other honor related crimes, these articles could possibly allow for honor killing offenders to justify the murder with claims that the killing was done because of cultural traditions. Italian Parliament member, Souad Sbai, suggested in 2010 that Italy amend these articles so that honor killings do not have extra protection under Italian law.
Turkey: In Turkey, persons found guilty of this crime are sentenced to life in prison. There are well documented cases, where Turkish courts have sentenced whole families to life imprisonment for an honor killing. The most recent was on January 13, 2009, where a Turkish Court sentenced five members of the same Kurdish family to life imprisonment for the honor killing of Naile Erdas, 16, who got pregnant as a result of rape. Pakistan: Honor killings are known as karo kari (Sindhi: ( )وراڪ وراڪUrdu: .)ک اروک اری The practice is supposed to be prosecuted under ordinary killing, but in practice police and prosecutors often ignore it. Often a man must simply claim the killing was for his honor and he will go free. Nilofar Bakhtiar, advisor to Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, stated that in 2003, as many as 1,261 women were killed in honor killings. The Hudood Ordinances of Pakistan, enacted in 1979 by then ruler General Zia-ul-Haq, created laws that realigned Pakistani rule with Islamic law. The law had the effect of reducing the legal protections for women, especially regarding sex outside of the marriage. Women who made accusations of rape, after this law, were required to provide four male witnesses. If unable to do this, the alleged rape could not be prosecuted in the courts. Because the woman had admitted to sex outside of marriage, however, she could be punished for having sex outside of the marriage, a punishment that ranged from stoning to public lashing. This law made it that much more risky for women to come forward with accusations of rape. In 2006, the Women‘s Protection Bill amended these Hudood Ordinances by removing four male witnesses as a requirement for rape allegations. On December 8, 2004, under international and domestic pressure, Pakistan enacted a law that made honor killings punishable by a prison term of seven years, or by the death penalty in the most extreme cases. Women's rights organizations were, however, wary of this law as it stops short of outlawing the practice of allowing killers to buy their freedom by paying compensation to the victim's relatives. Women's rights groups claimed that in most cases it is the victim's immediate relatives who are the killers, so inherently the new law is just whitewash. It did not alter the provisions whereby the accused could negotiate pardon with the victim's family under the Islamic provisions. In March 2005 the Pakistani parliament rejected a bill which sought to strengthen the law against the practice of honor killing. However, the bill was brought up again, and in November 2006, it passed. It is doubtful whether or not the law would actually help women. Egypt: A number of studies on honor crimes by The Centre of Islamic and Middle Eastern Law, at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, includes one which reports on Egypt's legal system, noting a gender bias in favor of men in general, and notably article 17 of the Penal Code: judicial discretion to allow reduced punishment in certain circumstance, often used in honor killings case.
 Support and sanction
Actions of Pakistani police officers and judge have, in the past, seemed to support the act of honor killings in the name of family honor. Police enforcement, in situations of admitted murder, do not always take action against the perpetrator. Also, judges in Pakistan, rather than ruling cases with gender equality in mind, also seem to reinforce inequality and in some cases sanction the murder of women considered dishonorable.  Often, a suspected honor killing never even reaches court, but in cases where they do, the alleged killer is often not charged or is given a reduced sentence of three to four years in jail. In a case study of 150 honor killings, the proceeding judges rejected only eight of claims that the women were killed for honor. The rest were sentenced lightly. In many cases in Pakistan, one of the reasons honor killing cases never make it to the courts, is because, according to some lawyers and women‘s right activists, Pakistani law enforcement do not get involved. Under the encouragement of the killer, police often declare the killing as a domestic case that warrants no involvement. In other cases, the women and victims are too afraid to speak up or press charges. Police officials, however, claim that these cases are never brought to them, or are not major enough to be pursued on a large scale. Kremlin-appointed Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov said that honor killings were perpetrated on those who deserved to die. He said that those who are killed have "loose morals" and are rightfully shot by relatives in honor killings. He did not vilify women alone but added that "If a woman runs around and if a man runs around with her, both of them are killed." In 2007, a famous Norwegian Supreme Court advocate stated that he wanted the punishment for the killing from 17 years in prison to 15 years in the case of honor killings practiced in Norway. He stated that the Norwegian public did not understand other cultures who practiced honor killings, or understand their thinking, and that Norwegian culture "is self-righteous". In 2008, Israr Ullah Zehri, a Pakistani politician in Balochistan, defended the honor killings of five women belonging to the Umrani tribe by a relative of a local Umrani politician. Zehri defended the killings in Parliament and asked his fellow legislators not to make a fuss about the incident. He said, "These are centuries-old traditions, and I will continue to defend them. Only those who indulge in immoral acts should be afraid." Nilofar Bakhtiar, Minister for Tourism and Advisor to Pakistan Prime Minister on Women's Affairs, who had struggled against the honor killing in Pakistan, resigned in April 2007 after the clerics accused her of bringing shame to Pakistan by para-jumping with a male and hugging him after landing.
To be young and in love has proved fatal for many young girls and boys in parts of north India as an intolerant and bigoted society refuses to accept any violation of its rigid code of decorum, especially when it comes to women. The two teenage girls who were shot dead last week by a cousin in Noida for daring to run away to meet their boyfriends are the latest victims of honour killings, a euphemism for doing away with anyone seen as spoiling the family's reputation. Many such killings are happening with regularity in Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh. These are socially sanctioned by caste panchayats and carried out by mobs with the connivance of family members. The usual remedy to such murders is to suggest that society must be prevailed upon to be more gender-sensitive and shed prejudices of caste and class. Efforts should be made to sensitise people on the need to do away with social biases. But equally, it should be made clear that there is no escape for those who take justice into their own hands. So far, there is no specific law to deal with honour killings. The murders come under the general categories of homicide or manslaughter. When a mob has carried out such attacks, it becomes difficult to pinpoint a culprit. The collection of evidence becomes tricky and eyewitnesses are never forthcoming. Like the case of Sati and dowry where there are specific laws with maximum and minimum terms of punishment, honour killings, too, merit a second look under the law. In many cases, the victims who run away with 'unsuitable' partners are lured back home after FIRs are filed by their families. The police cannot be unaware that in many cases they are coming back to certain death at the hands of their relatives and fellow villagers. Yet, pre-emptive action to protect them is never taken. Undoubtedly, the virus of caste and class that affects those carrying out such crimes affects the police in the area too. But that can be no excuse to sanction murder. Active policing and serious penal sanctions is the only antidote to this most dishonourable practice. Source: Hindustan Times
ndian village proud after double "honor killing"
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Brother suspected in killing of German-Afghan girl Fri, May 16 2008
By Simon Denyer BALLA, India | Fri May 16, 2008 5:46pm EDT (Reuters) - Five armed men burst into the small room and courtyard at dawn, just as 21-year-old, 22-week pregnant, Sunita was drying her face on a towel. They punched and kicked her stomach as she called out for her sleeping boyfriend "Jassa", 22year-old Jasbir Singh, witnesses said. When he woke, both were dragged into waiting cars, driven away and strangled. Their bodies, half-stripped, were laid out on the dirt outside Sunita's father's house for all to see, a sign that the family's "honor" had been restored by her cold-blooded murder. A week later, the village of Balla, just a couple of hours drive from India's capital New Delhi, stands united behind the act, proud, defiant almost to a man. Among the Jat caste of the conservative northern state of Haryana, it is taboo for a man and woman of the same village to marry. Although the couple were not related, they were seen in this deeply traditional society as brother and sister. "From society's point of view, this is a very good thing," said 62-year-old farmer Balwan Arya, sitting smoking a hookah in the shade of a tree in a square with other elders from the village council or panchayat. "We have removed the blot." Growing economic opportunities for young people and lower castes in Haryana have made "love marriages" more common, experts say, and the violent repression of them has risen in tandem as upper caste Jat men fight to hold on to power, status and property.
Sunita's father Om Prakash has confessed to murdering his pregnant daughter and her boyfriend, police told Reuters. An uncle and two cousins were among four others arrested. But in Balla many people believe the father confessed merely to underline that he supported his daughter's killing, to satisfy honor and protect the real culprits among his family or village. At their house, Sunita's mother did not emerge to talk. Instead, a young man on a motorbike tried to intimidate the Reuters team into leaving. It turned out he was another of Sunita's cousins, his father and brother held by police. "We are not ashamed of it, absolutely not, we have the honor of doing the village proud," he said. "We would not have had a face to show if we had not done this. It was the act of 'real men'." THE POWER OF UPPER CASTE MEN The relatively prosperous northern state of Haryana is one of India's most conservative when it comes to caste, marriage and the role of women. Deeply patriarchal, caste purity is paramount and marriages are arranged to sustain the status quo. Men and women are still murdered across the villages of northern India for daring to marry outside their caste, but in Haryana the practice is widespread, and widely supported. Here, women veil their faces with scarves in public. The illegal abortion of female fetuses is common, the ratio of women to men in Haryana just 861 to 1,000, the lowest in the country. Anyone who transgresses social codes, by marrying across caste boundaries or within the same village, is liable to meet the same fate as Sunita and Jasbir. Many such murders are never reported, hardly any result in prosecution, says Professor Javeed Alam, chairman of the Indian Council of Social Science Research. "People from the same village are treated as siblings in Haryana," he said. "So this is treated as incest." Without any law to prohibit this kind of marriage, "the only way you can punish it is by taking the law into your own hands. People believe people who commit incest should be killed". Nor do politicians ever renounce the practice, Alam added, because if they did, "they would not win elections". And the legalization of property rights for women in 1956 made love marriages within a village even more dangerous for this elite, as daughters living close to home could in theory claim a part of the family land, sociologist Prem Chowdhry says.
CHILDHOOD SWEETHEARTS Sunita and Jasbir, sweethearts in the same class at school, had little chance. When he left school a couple of years before her to become an photographer's apprentice, he would often hang around at the school gates to collect her. She was married off to another man, but left her husband to elope with Jasbir a year-and-a-half ago, and while the families tried to keep them apart, they realized it was a losing battle. "They were madly in love even to the last day," said Jasbir's 16-year-old sister-in-law Lalita in the house where they lived in Machhroli village, around 35 km (20 miles) by road from Balla. To make matters worse, Jasbir was from a lower sub-caste, and she was pregnant outside marriage. Sunita's parents in Balla found themselves virtually ostracized. "Nobody would drink water in our house," Sunita's mother Roshni is reported to have said. "My daughter's action made us aliens in our own land. But we have managed to redeem our honor. She paid for her ill-gotten action." But among Jasbir's family, split between Machhroli and Balla, grief is mixed with fear. "Why are you talking to the media?" shouted a female family member at one point. "This will only bring more trouble." At the small police post in Balla, a constable admitted the case was unlikely to ever reach prosecution, with the village putting enormous pressure on the police, and especially Jasbir's family, to quietly drop the case. "We are being pressurized into reaching an agreement, a compromise, without even being given time to grieve," said Jasbir's 25-year-old sister Neelam. "We have been told that if we don't compromise, we will suffer the same fate." In the narrow alleyway outside their tiny house, women wailed in grief. A few hundred yards away, the panchayat sat in quiet self-satisfaction. "The people who have done this should get an award for it," said 48-year-old Satvir Singh. "This was a murder of morality."
The Evil of Honour Killing in India Thangai VS Annan Recently, there has been a spate of honour killings in the country which has led the government to decide what laws should be put in place to stop this heinous crime. Also whether the Hindu Marriage Act should be reformed or not is being debated. What is the definition of honour killing and what leads families to commit this heinous crime so that they can protect their family honour? Is this practice prevalent only in India or is it prevalent in other parts of the world also? An honour killing (also called a customary killing) is the murder of a (typically female) family or clan member by one or more fellow (mostly male) family members, in which the perpetrators (and potentially the wider community) believe the victim to have brought dishonour upon the family, clan, or community. Such killings or attempted killings result from the perception that the defense of honour justifies killing a person whose behavior dishonours their own clan or family. Honour killing is more prevalent where a member of a lower class (wrt., social status or wealth status) marries a person of relatively higher class (high social or wealth status). The United Nations Population Fund ((UNFPA)) estimates that the annual worldwide total of honour-killing victims may be as high as 5,000. History of honour killing in India Honour killing is different from the dowry deaths that are prevalent in India. In the case of dowry deaths, the perpetrators of that action claim that they have not been given enough material rewards for accepting the woman into the family. In that case there is a lot of harassment from the in-laws and more times than one, it has been noted that the wife commits suicide rather than being killed by the in-laws, though it has to be said that she has been mentally killed, if not physically. This tradition was first viewed in its most horrible form during the Partition of the country in between the years 1947 and 1950 when many women were forcefully killed so that family honour could be preserved. During the Partition, there were a lot of forced marriages which were causing women from India to marry men from Pakistan and vice-versa. And then there was a
search to hunt down these women who were forced to marry a person from another country and another religion and when they returned ‗home‘ they were killed so that the family honour could be preserved and they were not declared social outcastes from their region. At that time, the influence of religion and social control was much greater and hence there were at least a couple of honour killings a day, if not more. The partition years can be seen to be the beginning of the tradition of honour killing on a large scale. Honour Killing is not specifically related to India only. This practice prevails in North and South America, Africa, Turkey and many other countries. But the number of incidents relating to this crime is very low and there is a very strict punishment for committing this crime in other countries. Reasons for honour killing The perceived dishonour is normally the result of the following behaviors, or the suspicion of such behaviors: (a) utilizing dress codes unacceptable to the family/community, (b) wanting to terminate or prevent an arranged marriage or desiring to marry by own choice, or (c) engaging in certain sexual acts, including those with the opposite or same sex. There are various reasons why people or family members decide to kill the daughter in the name of preserving their family honour. The most obvious reason for this practice to continue in India, albeit, at a much faster and almost daily basis, is because of the fact that the caste system continues to be at its rigid best and also because people from the rural areas refuse to change their attitude to marriage. According to them, if any daughter dares to disobey her parents on the issue of marriage and decides to marry a man of her wishes but from another gotra or outside her caste, it would bring disrepute to the family honour and hence they decide to give the ultimate sentence, as in death, to the daughter. Now as has become the norm, the son-in-law is killed as well. Sociologists believe that the reason why honour killings continue to take place is because of the continued rigidity of the caste system. Hence the fear of losing their caste status through which they gain many benefits makes them commit this heinous crime. The other reason why honour killings are taking place is because the mentality of people has not changed and they just cannot accept that marriages can take place in the same gotra or outside one‘s caste. The root of the cause for the increase in the number of honour killings is because the formal governance has not been able to reach the rural areas and as a result. Thus, this practice continues though it should have been removed by now. Honour killing in India North India To be young and in love has proved deadly for many young girls and boys in parts of north India as an intolerant and bigoted society refuses to accept any violation of its rigid code of decorum,
especially when it comes to women. The two teenage girls who were shot dead in June 2010 by a cousin in Noida for daring to run away to meet their boyfriends are the latest victims of honour killings, a euphemism for doing away with anyone seen as spoiling the family‘s reputation. Many such killings are happening with regularity in Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh. These are socially sanctioned by caste panchayats and carried out by mobs with the connivance of family members. People are sometimes murdered in Northern India (mainly in the Indian States of Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana and Bihar for marrying without their family‘s acceptance, in some cases for marrying outside their caste (Jat or Rajput) or religion. Among Rajputs, marriages with other caste male/female instigate the killings of the married couple and family. This is unique form of honour killing related to the militant culture of ethnic Rajputs, who, despite the forces of modernization and the pressures of decolonization, subscribe to medieval views concerning the ―preservation‖ of perceived ―purity‖ of their lineage. Haryana is one of the worst hit as far as honour killing is concerned. Even as rural Haryana remains in the stranglehold of the defiant caste panchayats, honour killings continue in their most horrible form On June 21, 2010, the family members of a girl allegedly killed her and her teenaged lover and hanged them as exhibits in their house for the village to see their ―fate.‖ Monika (18) and her lover Rinku (19), both from Jat families, were brutally killed for honour at Nimriwali village, near Bhiwani. The father of the girl, her brother, uncle and cousins are suspected to be behind the crime and are absconding. The case was registered for murder and wrongful confinement on the basis of a complaint by Rinku‘s uncle, Krishan Kumar. Police teams have been deputed to arrest the suspects named in the case. However, circumstances clearly suggest it to be an honour killing according to inspector Prem Singh, the investigating officer. Singh avoided enquiries as to who had informed the police and who first came to know about the incident. According to preliminary investigations, the injury marks on the bodies of Monika and Rinku suggest that they were tortured by their killers. Sources said Monika was a dropout and Rinku, who belonged to the neighbouring Manherhu village, was living with his maternal uncle, a trader. The two had been going around for over two years despite objections from their families. According to sources, the two were caught by their relatives at Monika‘s uncle‘s house. Bhagalpur in the northern Indian State of Bihar has also been notorious for honour killings. Recent cases include a 16-year-old girl, Imrana, from Bhojpur was set on fire inside her house in a case of what the police called ‗moral vigilantism‘. The victim had screamed for help for about 20 minutes before neighbours arrived, only to find her still smoldering. She was admitted to a local hospital, where she later succumbed to her injuries. In another case in May 2008, Jayvirsingh Bhadodiya shot his daughter Vandana Bhadodiya and struck her in the head with an axe. In June 2010 some incidents were reported even from Delhi.
In a landmark judgment, in March 2010, the Karnal District Court ordered the execution of the five perpetrators in an honour killing case, while giving a life sentence to the khap (local castebased council) head who ordered the killings of Manoj Banwala (23) and Babli (19), two members of the same clan who eloped and married in June 2007. Despite being given police protection on court orders, they were kidnapped; their mutilated bodies were found a week later from an irrigation canal. The latest case of honour killing was reported in a case where a couple was murdered by the father of the girl, Vimla (20), and a guard named Robin, after they found 28 yr old Hari from Jalandhar and Vimla in a compromising position in an under-construction building. South India Honour killings are rare to non-existent in South India, and the western Indian States of Maharashtra and Gujarat. There have been no honour killings in West Bengal in over 100 years, thanks to the influence and activism of reformists like Vivekananda, Ramakrishna, Vidyasagar and Raja Ram Mohan Roy. In 1990, the National Commission for Women set up a statutory body in order to address the issues of honour killings among some ethnic groups in North India. This body reviewed constitutional, legal and other provisions as well as challenges women face. The NCW‘s activism has contributed significantly towards the reduction of honour killings in rural areas of North India. According to Pakistani activists Hina Jilani and Eman M. Ahmed, Indian women are considerably better protected against honour killings by Indian Law and Government than Pakistani women, and they have suggested that governments of countries affected by honour killings use Indian law as a model in order to prevent honour killings in their respective societies. Rural vs Urban areas There are various misconceptions regarding the practice of honour killing. The first misconception about honour killing is that this is a practice that is limited to the rural areas. The truth is that it is spread over such a large geographical area that one cannot isolate honour killings to rural areas only, though one has to admit that majority of the killings take place in the rural areas. But it has also been seen recently that even the metropolitan cities like Delhi and Tamil Nadu are not safe from this crime because 5 honour killings were reported from Delhi and in Tamil Nadu; a daughter and son in law were killed due to marriage into the same gotra. So it can be seen clearly that honour killing is not isolated to rural areas but also to urban areas and as already pointed out, it has a very wide geographical spread. The second misconception regarding honour killing is that it has religious roots. Even if a woman commits adultery, there have to be four male witnesses with good behavior and reputation to validate the charge. Furthermore only the State can carry out judicial punishments, but never an individual vigilante. So, one can clearly see that there is no religious backing or religious roots for this heinous crime. Nirupama Pathak‘s case
At 23, Nirupama Pathak seemed to have seamlessly made the transition from her small hometown in Jharkhand to big city life. Supported by her parents, she arrived in Delhi to study journalism at one of the capital‘s premier institutes. There, she fell in love with a classmate, Priyabhanshu Ranjan. A job at one of India‘s best-known newspapers, the Business Standard, followed. On Facebook, she commented on political and personal issues. She was easy-going, unpretentious and helpful. The roots that seemed to ground her rose quickly to strangle her. Nirupama was a Brahmin, her boyfriend a Kayastha. Where she came from, that was enough to stop everything. In June 2010, Nirupama‘s family summoned her home, insisting that her mother, Sudha, was not keeping well. On Thursday night, Nirupama was found dead in her bedroom at her Jharkhand home. Her family said she had committed suicide by hanging herself. The post-mortem clearly spelled murder by asphyxiation. Her mother, Sudha, was arrested for her murder and sent to 14-day jail on Monday. Nirupama‘s father, Dharmendra, says though the family wasn‘t pleased with her relationship with Priyanshu, because he was from a different caste, he would never hurt his daughter. The crime shows yet again how ‗honour killings‘ cannot be considered the curse of rural India where panchayats often order the execution of young couples who dare to cross caste borders. Nirupama‘s father worked at a bank, her brothers were PhDs, the family had helped Nirupama to move far from home to follow her dreams. Meanwhile, the National Commission for Women (NCW) has asked for the case to be handled by a fast-track court. Legal action towards honour killing The usual remedy to such murders is to suggest that society must be prevailed upon to be more gender-sensitive and shed prejudices of caste and class. Efforts should be made to sensitise people on the need to do away with social biases. But equally, it should be made clear that there is no escape for those who take justice into their own hands. So far, there is no specific law to deal with honour killings. The murders come under the general categories of homicide or manslaughter. When a mob has carried out such attacks, it becomes difficult to pinpoint a culprit. The collection of evidence becomes tricky and eyewitnesses are never forthcoming. Like the case of Sati and dowry where there are specific laws with maximum and minimum terms of punishment, honour killings, too, merit a second look under the law. Undoubtedly, the virus of caste and class that affects those carrying out such crimes affects the police in the area too. But that can be no excuse to sanction murder. Active policing and serious penal sanctions is the only antidote to this most dishonourable practice.
Prevention Tactics What can we do to prevent such a thing from happening? Firstly, the mentality of the people has to change. And when one says that the mentality has to change, one means to say that parents should accept their children‘s wishes regarding marriage as it is they who have to lead a life with their life partners and if they are not satisfied with their life partner then they will lead a horrible married life which might even end in suicide. Secondly, we need to have stricter laws to tackle these kinds of killings as this is a crime which cannot be pardoned because. Humans do not have the right to write down death sentences of innocent fellow humans. 4th July 2010 Participating in International Child Abduction, Relocation and Forced Marriages Conference organised by the London Metropolitan University here, Chandigarh-based legal experts Anil Malhotra and his brother Ranjit Malhotra have said that in traditional societies, honour killings are basically ‗justified‘ as a sanction for ‗dishonourable‘ behaviour. They say that forced marriages and honour killings are often intertwined. Marriage can be forced to save honour, and women can be murdered for rejecting a forced marriage and marrying a partner of their own choice who is not acceptable for the family of the girl. Though there was no nationwide data on the prevalent of honour killings in India, they quoted figures compiled by the India Democratic Women‘s Association, according to which Haryana, Punjab and U P account for about 900 honour killings and another 100 to 300 in the rest of the country. They said the ministries of home affairs and the law and justice are preparing to amend the Indian Penal Code (IPC) to define the act of ―honour killing‖. The demand for such a law was made repeatedly with the objective of stamping out this social evil. They pointed out that the Supreme Court of India, concerned over the spate of recent ‗Honour Killings‘ has asked the Centre and eight state governments to submit reports on the steps taken to prevent this barbaric practice. In June 2010, scrutinizing the increasing number of honour killings, the Supreme Court of India issued notices to the Central Government and six states including Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan, to take preventive measures against the social evil. Alarmed by the rise of honour killings, the Government is planning to bring a bill in the Monsoon Session of Parliament next month (July 2010) to provide for deterrent punishment for ‗honour‘ killings July 27 2010 New Delhi
Even as the Government contemplates laws to tackle the phenomenon of honour killings, khap panchayats remain defiant. Leaders from across North India came together in New Delhi on Monday to oppose same gotra marriages. The meeting was a show of strength against the Government as nearly 250 khap panchayats from different parts of the country reiterated their demand to amend the Hindu Marriage Act and ensure inter-gotra marriages are made illegal. ―Government should not let brothers and sisters marry. We are all part of the same gotra which means the same blood line. We don‘t advocate killing anyone. But genetic problems arise due to inter-gotra marriage,‖ said khap leader Shamsher Singh The meeting took place even as the Government set up a nine-member group of Ministers to find a solution to the increasing numbers of honour killings across the country. Khap leaders say they have no role to play in the killings cases but maintain that inter-gotra marriages should not be allowed Another khap leader Mangesh Singh says that the khaps are not involved in honour killing. It is not the first time that such a meeting was held to oppose same gotra marriages. But with the Government not willing to give into their demands as yet, the khap panchayats say they won‘t stop at this and will take their protest forward. Khap leaders proclaim that they will block roads to register their protests if their demands are not met. Even as the Government promises to pass a strict Law against honour killings in the monsoon session of Parliament, in 2010, protest meets will continue and who will finally win the battle remains to be seen. Life-term for three in ‗honour‘ killing case – 4.08.2010 The Supreme Court on 4.08.2010 awarded life sentence to three persons who caused the death of six persons of a family in a case of ‗honour‘ killing at a village in Uttar Pradesh in 1991. A Bench of Justices H.S. Bedi and J.M. Panchal reversed the order of acquittal passed by the Allahabad High Court after the trial court handed them the death sentence. The Bench said: ―There is no manner of doubt that killing six persons and wiping out almost the whole family on the flimsy ground of saving the honour of the family would fall within the rarest of rare cases [principle] evolved by this court and, therefore, the trial court was perfectly justified in imposing the capital punishment on the respondents. However, this court also notices that the incident had taken place about 20 years ago. Further, the High Court acquitted the respondents by a judgment dated April 12, 2002. Thereafter, nothing adverse against any of the respondents is reported to this court. To sentence the respondents to death after their acquittal in 2002 will not be justified on the facts and in the circumstances of the case.‖
The Bench imposed a fine of Rs.25,000 on each of the accused. The incident took place on August 10/11, 1991 at Lakhanpur in Farrukhabad district. Krishna Master and two others were charged with murdering Guljari and his family members. The provocation was that a boy eloped with a girl belonging to another community. To convict the accused, the trial court relied on the evidence of Madan Lal, who was six years old when the incident happened. However, the High Court acquitted them. The State filed an appeal in the Supreme Court. Stand-alone Law needed to curb Honour Killings: AIDWA The All-India Democratic Women‘s Association (AIDWA) has presented to Law Minister M. Veerappa Moily a comprehensive draft law that seeks to make private parties culpable for violation of fundamental rights in crimes and killings committed in the name of ―honour.‖ All kinds of harassment, and curbing of choice, association, and movement would come within the ambit of this law. Apart from defining crimes in the name of ―honour,‖ the draft makes eulogising or glorification of these offences and killings punishable. The onus of proof is on the accused. The law seeks to protect young couples who declare their intention to marry before a government officer, and also suggests measures to stop self-proclaimed panchayats and other community bodies from issuing diktats. Defining ‗honour‘ killing, a challenge to GoM The tricky issue of defining ‗honour‘ killings and getting the States on board, as law and order is a State subject, will engage the Group of Ministers (GoM) at its preliminary meeting in New Delhi on August 6 to discuss how to end the pernicious practice. In the draft bill under consideration, the expressions ‗dishonour‘ and ‗perceived to have brought dishonour‘ have been defined as ―acts of any person adopting a dress code which is unacceptable to his or her family or caste or clan or community or caste panchayat,‖ ―choosing to marry within or outside the gotra or caste or clan or community against the wishes of his or her family or caste or clan or community or caste panchayat,‖ and ―engaging in certain sexual relations which are unacceptable to his or her family or caste or clan or community or caste panchayat.‖ Any change in the law — in this case a proposed amendment to the Indian Penal Code, the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, and the Special Marriages Act, 1954 — will need to involve the States. Indeed, at the July 8, 2010 Cabinet meeting, where the decision to set up the GOM was taken, it was also decided to write to the States, as they will have to implement any new law. It is felt that one of the suggestions made in the draft bill would be both contentious and difficult to implement: This is the proviso that ―all members of a body or group of the caste or clan or community or caste panchayat, ordering the commission of an act by which death is caused, shall
be deemed guilty of having committed such an act by virtue of their association with such caste panchayat or body or group of the caste or clan or community.‖ While law enforcement officers say this proviso — that is holding all members of a khap panchayat guilty of murder — will be difficult to implement, it will be a political hot potato in States like Haryana, where there has been a rash of ‗honour‘ killings, as many political parties and leaders there derive their strength from khap panchayats. Indeed, at the July 8, 2010 Cabinet meeting, there were differences, with Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal, Sports Minister M.S. Gill and Surface Transport Minister Kamal Nath pointing out the difficulties in making all members of a khap panchayat accountable for one crime. Dream Dare Win
India has over 1,000 honour killings a year’
As instances of ―honour killings‖ are reported with alarming — and increasing — regularity across the country, a research paper to be presented at an international conference in London by some Indian jurists on crimes against women next week suggests that the total number of such killings could be well over 1,000 every year in India. The research paper titled ―Social-legal perspective of forced marriages‖, prepared by Chandigarh-based senior lawyer Ranjit Malhotra, an alumnus of the University of London and dealing with cases of intercontinental marital disputes and custody of children, says that at least ―900 incidences of honour killings‖ take place in three states alone — Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh — every year. It will be presented in an international conference on forced marriages and abduction of children to be held in London from June 30 to July 2. Though the National Crime Records Bureau does not collect separate data on ―honour killi-ngs‖, a number of such incidents are linked to ―forced marriages‖, which appear to be one of the major causes for this heinous crime. A large number of ―honour killing‖ cases, however, go unreported as members of the family or the clan involved try to pass them off as natural deaths, says Mr Malhotra, who says he has done an extensive study on the subject. If another 100-300 cases are added to this figure for the other
states, on which data still remains sketchy, the total number of ―honour killi-ngs‖ in the country could go well beyond 1,000 every year, the paper says, addi-ng: ―The total figure for India thus would be the same as that estimated for Pakistan, which, research-ers suggest, has the highest per capita incidence of honour killings in the world.‖
A large number of “honour killing” cases, however, go unreported as members of the family or the clan involved try to pass them off as natural deaths, says Mr Malhotra, who says he has done an extensive study on the subject. If another 100-300 cases are added to this figure for the other states, on which data still remains sketchy, the total number of “honour killi-ngs” in the country could go well beyond 1,000 every year, the paper says, addi-ng: “The total figure for India thus would be the same as that estimated for Pakistan, which, research-ers suggest, has the highest per capita incidence of honour killings in the world.”
Sify News: Honour killings: Conflict between tradition and modernity – Sify News: “With a spate of so-called ‘honour killings’ shocking the nation in recent weeks, human rights activists say the increase in such cases is a testimony to the growing conflict between rigid family tradition and modernity.” – “They also feel the problem can be resolved by increasing awareness and bringing tougher legislations.” …. – “A series of cases, where young men or women were murdered for marrying outside caste or within the same sub-caste or against the family’s wishes have come to the fore in recent times. Delhi had backto-back cases in the past two weeks.” – “Only a few politicians have spoken against such crimes because caste can determine an election win or loss, felt Kant, whose organisation had filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) before the Supreme court on this issue.
Times of India: Honour killing case: Pistol used by accused recovered — accused Mandeep Nagar, Ankit Chaudhury, and Nakul Khari — Triple ―honor killing‖ case – killing Ankit‘s sister Monica and her husband Kuldeep Singh, and Shobha, Mandeep‘s sister – Times of India: ―Making a headway in the Ashok Vihar honour killing case, Delhi Police have recovered from Rishikesh the pistol allegedly used by three youths to kill three of their relatives for marrying outside their caste.‖ – ―A team of city police recovered the .32 bore pistol from Rishikesh where they had taken the accused — Ankit, Mandeep and Nakul — for further investigation in the case. The trio were arrested from Ghaziabad on June 24.‖ – ―The accused had told police that they had thrown the pistol in the river after killing Ankit‘s sister Monica and her husband Kuldeep for marrying outside the community. Later, they allegedly killed Shobha, Mandeep‘s sister, who had earlier eloped with a person outside her community.‖ — Outlook India: 3 Honour Killing Suspects Sent to 5 Days‘ Police Custody — IBN: Cops find weapon used in Delhi honour killings — IBN: ―The weapon used in the gruesome triple honour killing case of a Delhi couple and another young girl has been reportedly recovered. The pistol used to kill Monica, her husband Kuldeep Singh and her cousin Shobha was found in Rishikesh.‖ — New Kerala: Delhi: Honour killing after 4-year marriage – in Ashok Vihar, north Delhi — Couple shot dead in Ashok Vihar
Times of India: NRI held for suspected honour killing in Punjab – Amritpal Kaur ―honor killing‖ – Times of India: ―A non-resident Indian (NRI) will be produced in a court here on Wednesday following his arrest on Tuesday night for allegedly murdering his teenaged step-daughter in a
suspected case of honour killing.‖ – ―Mehtab Singh was arrested after the police got a tip-off that he had brought his step-daughter Amritpal Kaur, 17, from Brussels, Belgium, earlier this month and clandestinely cremated her here after saying that she died of food poisoning.‖ – ―Police officials said the death of the girl seemed to be mysterious and that the step-father had shown undue urgency in cremating her.‖ – ―The police are investigating if the girl was killed by Mehtab Singh as she had fallen in love with a youth, Lakhwinder Singh, in Belgium.‖ – ―Lakhwinder belonged to another lower caste and this was not to the liking of Mehtab Singh. He is believed to have poisoned her a few days back and got her cremated.‖ Hindustan Times: Honour killing: Girl hacked to death by mother – Rekha Yadav ―honor killing‖ – Hindustan Times: ―In yet another case of suspected honour killing, a 16-year-old girl was hacked to death in the district allegedly by her mother who disapproved of her relationship with a neighbour, a senior police officer said on Tuesday.‖ – Rediff: Honour killing: Now mother hacks girl to death Sify News: Another suspected honour killing in Haryana ===================================== The Asian Age: ―India has over 1,000 honour killings a year‖ – Asian Age: ―As instances of ‗honour killings‘ are reported with alarming — and increasing — regularity across the country, a research paper to be presented at an international conference in London by some Indian jurists on crimes against women next week suggests that the total number of such killings could be well over 1,000 every year in India.‖ – ―The research paper titled ‗Social-legal perspective of forced marriages‘, prepared by Chandigarh-based senior lawyer Ranjit Malhotra, an alumnus of the University of London and dealing with cases of intercontinental marital disputes and custody of children, says that at least ‘900 incidences of honour killings‘ take place in three states alone — Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh — every year.‖ — on July 2, 2010 in UK, Ranjit Malhotra to present research paper ―Social-legal perspective of forced marriages‖ claiming total number of honor killings in India could be over 1,000 every year —- Program for July 2, 2010 event ===================================== Hindu Honor Killings? Yes, In India – by Phyllis Chesler Hindu Honor Killings Article Challenged by Hindu Human Rights Activists – by Phyllis Chesler – Phyllis Chesler: ―In June, 2010, (this very month), 16 Hindu victims (five male-female couples, five girls alone, one man alone) were murdered, their bodies finally discovered, the
perpetrators finally arrested or sentenced. The murderers were all members of the girl‘s familyof-origin in a planned conspiracy.‖ ===================================== Responsible for Equality And Liberty (R.E.A.L.) supports our unqualified universal human rights for all human beings, including equality and liberty for all women of every religion, ethnic background, race, and identity group. We urge all to support such universal human rights for all women, without question, and to Choose Love, Not Hate – Love Wins.