She interviewed men who committed an honor killing. These murderers consider themselves victims

The young Jordanian was kidnapped and raped. After this she was taken home to parents. In the Wake of the kidnapping she was pregnant. To save the honor of the family is begging the perpetrator to marry the girl. He agrees, and she gives birth to a child. A few years later he divorced her, although she’s pregnant again. The honor of the family is once again threatened, so the brothers take her into the desert and killed with an axe. The woman dismembered before the eyes of her child who is in the back seat of the car.

Brothers get seven-and-a-half years in prison, less than half the statutory term of imprisonment of 15 years.

This is a real example of honor killing in Jordan, and he’s not the only one.

“Men consider themselves victims who are forced to kill due to the pressure of society and old traditions. Not a single killer of those with whom I spoke, was not charged with the pressure of Islam. In the Koran there is nothing that urged to do this,” says the journalist and author Lena vold (Wold Lene).

Several years of journalistic investigation, several trips to Jordan and more than a hundred interviews led to the creation of the book “the glory and Honor to my daughters” (Ære være mine døtre), which comes out on Thursday. Vold describes the relationship between supposedly modern dad and his two daughters. When it turns out that one of the daughters is a lesbian, all ends with the death of her life secret from others for her sister. The main attention is always directed to the story of a father.

“Those who have the gun in hand, can better someone else to explain why they decided to kill him. Here we can get the answers we need to end honour killings,” says wold.

Cowardice makes

In 2010, the UN estimates that every year in the world occurs in about 5 thousand honour killings, while several women’s organizations, according to The Independent, estimated in the same year that the number of such homicides is about 20 thousand.

In Jordan annually registers approximately 15 to 20 similar cases, but in 2016, according to Human Rights Watch, there has been a marked increase.

Vold believes that they are large and dark number. Very often women are asked to resolve the problem by suicide. The cause can be everything from rape and premarital pregnancy, the so-called immoral behavior and infidelity, and to late arrival home or use mascara.

The woman, says the book, can lose its integrity only once, a man can restore his honor always.

“Although the number of cases is small compared with the population, but the tradition creates intense fear and affects the lives of so many women,” says wold.

She established contact with 400 killers and talked with 139 of them.

“I can say that they are to a large extent were forced to do so out of fear. Many of those with whom I had the conversation, saying that an honor killing is the worst thing they ever had to make, but they could not do otherwise. Here they do not consider themselves responsible, even partially admit that the act was wrong, but at the same time, they still would do it again,” says wold.

Optimism for a change

Often obliged to kill instruct the young boys in the family, because for them the punishment will be the shortest.

“Thus, some generations receive injuries due to violence at an early age. We know that violence breeds violence, and therefore these young men are carrying injuries from violence on,” says wold.

A study conducted by Cambridge University in 2013, shows that a third of teenagers with whom in Jordan, interviews were conducted, consider honor killing morally right.

Special law to the Jordanian law of 1954 gives the governors the right to put in jail women who can be killed to prevent men, pursuing them to commit criminal acts. Wold read the court documents about the Jordanian women, placed for that reason in a jail term of up to 18 years.

Almost half of women prisoners in Jordan are so-called “administrative detainees”, of which, according to the Jordan Times, many put in prison in for “safety”.

Aftenposten: And yet you are optimistic and believe that this can be changed?

Wold: Yes. In the code of laws there are three articles that are used to discriminate against women. You can change them.

Need to put pressure on Jordan

In December, she released a fatwa — a legal assessment of whether a particular case in accordance with Islamic law — which first forbids such killings of women.

Vold believes that this is a step in the right direction.

She hoped that the facts outlined in the book help to bring Norway and the international community to exert pressure on Jordan to abolish honor killings.

“For this fight many strong and educated women, but they need the international community watched and documented what makes the Jordanian state,” she says.