January, 2011

AMMAN, Jordan — Jordan's prosecutor has charged a man and his two sons for the premeditated murder of his 19-year-old daughter Saturday, in the latest "honour killing" to take place in this conservative desert kingdom.

The man and his two sons were charged with beating to death the daughter for leaving the house in makeup and talking to a stranger, according to prosecutor Salah al-Taleb's indictment sheet.

The father brought his daughter to the hospital after she lost consciousness and turned himself in.

Autopsy showed severe injuries to the head which caused brain hemorrhage and the body was covered with bruises.

If convicted the man could be sentenced to life in jail.

The man comes from the eastern Jordanian town of Zarqa, home of slain Iraqi al-Qaida leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and known for its conservatism.

In Jordan, an average of 20 women are killed by male relatives each year. Men have the final say in all family matters in this largely conservative society, where many consider sex out of wedlock an indelible stain on a family's reputation.

International human rights organizations have condemned honour killings in Jordan and appealed to King Abdullah to put an end to the practice.

The government urged judges to consider honour killings equal to other homicides, punishable with up to life in prison.

But attempts to introduce harsher sentences have been blocked in Jordan's parliament, where the predominantly conservative Bedouin legislators argue that tougher penalties would lead to adultery.

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