Jordanian Charged in Honor Killing of Dating Daughter

A Jordanian man was charged Tuesday with premeditated murder for allegedly killing his 30-year-old daughter because she was dating, government officials said.

The man was arrested near the Israeli border after Monday's killing, and will be detained for 14 days for questioning, said an official close to the investigation. He spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation was ongoing.

The suspect, whose name was not released, confessed to the crime and told authorities he had "cleansed" his family's honor, according to a police official who requested anonymity in line with police regulations.

The father suspected his unmarried daughter was dating, because she went out frequently but told her parents that she was socializing with female friends, the police official said.

"Her father refused to allow her to step a foot outside the house," he said. "In the evening they had an argument, so he grabbed his gun and sprayed her with several bullets, killing her instantly," the official said.

The killing occurred in Shuneh, a town in western Jordan inhabited by conservative Bedouin tribes. According to local Bedouin custom, women are not permitted to speak to male strangers, and men have strict control over female relatives.

Monday's killing was the first suspected "honor killing" in Jordan this year.

The kingdom sees an average of 20 women killed by male relatives each year.

Like in other tribal-oriented societies across the Mideast and Muslim world, many Jordanians consider sex out of wedlock an indelible stain on a family's reputation.

International human rights groups have condemned such killings in Jordan and appealed to the country's ruler, King Abdullah II, to do more to quell the practice.

Subsequently, the government abolished a section in the penal code that allowed suspects convicted in honor killings to get sentences as lenient as six months. Judges often commute sentences in honor killing cases, especially if family members drop the charges.