Saturday 24th of October 2020 |
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Voices grow louder against domestic violence



AMMAN — Hundreds of citizens staged a sit-in near the Parliament building in Amman on Wednesday to protest against the latest killing of a Jordanian woman allegedly by her father for reasons related to “family honour” and demand better legal protection for Jordanian women.
Under the hashtag Ahlam's Screams (Ahlam the woman allegedly murdered by her father recently), men, women and children held banners that called for an end to violence against women and better legal protection for women in the Kingdom. 
Some of the banners read: "We call for stiff punishments for perpetrators of domestic violence, we call for stronger laws against domestic violence, and we call for preventing the dropping of charges in cases of domestic violence.”
“We are a group of young men and women who are calling for better protection for women and children from violence and cancellation of all the laws that are protecting the killers,” Bana Ziadeh, one of the organisers of the event, told The Jordan Times.
Ziadeh said that the group, titled “Legal Jordanian Society”, organised the event via social media to call for a “new future” for Jordan.
“We want our country, Jordan, to be a better and safe place for women and children and for our future and that is why we came to protest in front of Parliament because it is the body that issues laws that should protect us,” she added.
Another group member, Toni Dabbas, told The Jordan Times that one of the main goals are to “urge the government to cancel clauses in the Penal Code which allows for leniency towards killers in so-called honour crimes”.
“We are calling on our government to cancel the laws that allow families of perpetrators to drop charges against them, which results in leniency to these killers,” Dabbas said.
He added that the event was “the starting point” and more events will take place in the near future
The 40-year-old victim was allegedly murdered by her 57-year-old father with a rock near her home in Ein Basha region and claimed “family honour” as his motive.
The Criminal Court prosecutor charged the suspect with premeditated murder on Saturday and issued a gag order the following day restricting the publication of any news related to the case.
Head of the Freedom’s Committee at the Professional Unions lawyer Walid Udwan said he decided to join the sit-in because it “is calling for amending laws to better protect victims of domestic violence”.
“We will also hold lectures to discuss laws and amendments,” Udwan told The Jordan Times.
Wednesday’s sit-in was the second protest in a span of 48-hours to take place in the Kingdom following the murder.
Eleven-year-old Talal Shatara, who was holding a banner that stated: “No honour in honour crimes”, said he came to the event to urge the government to protect women’s and children’s rights.
“I am here to call on the government to find the best protective methods in the event that a boy or a girl is killed.  We want the government’s protection,” Shatara told The Jordan Times.
Women activists and social media users continue to voice their dismay over the incident and called on the government to introduce laws and adopt procedures that protect victims of domestic violence in Jordan.
Several petitions went viral over the past few days mostly calling on the government to adopt more procedures and policies that would better protect women, whose lives are in danger for reasons related to “family honour”.
On Tuesday, police and government officials announced that they are revising some entities' work and legislation related to domestic violence, pledging to take "the urgent necessary measures to safeguard the safety and security of Jordanian women and children".

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