Young Woman Killed in Rafah in an “Honor Killing”

At approximately 14:00 on Friday, 30 June 2006, the Criminal Investigations Department of the Rafah Police learned of the burial of Maha Akram El-Hamayda (18), after she had been killed in an “honor killing” crime. The police were able to determine the burial place in the eastern cemetery in Rafah. The father was summoned by the police and the body was removed and submitted to the pathology department of Naser Hospital in Khan Yunis.

According to information from the police, the pathologist report indicates that the girl had suffered a beating with a sharp object to the head, causing extensive bleeding. There were strangulation marks on the neck. The girl was examined and found to be a virgin.

The police investigation revealed that relatives of the girl had buried her. The police arrested the suspected relatives, who are under questioning.

In the early morning hours of Sunday, 2 July 2006, and against the backdrop of the killing, relatives of the girl set fire to a car spare parts shop owned by one of the suspects in the killing.

PCHR condemns this crime, and affirms:

  • This crime is an attack against the rule of law and is a form of vigilante justice;
  • This crime is a form of extra-judicial execution and, as such, is a serious violation of human rights, especially the right to life and the right to freedom from torture and cruel and inhumane treatment; and
  • The Centre calls upon the Palestinian National Authority, represented by the Attorney-General, to seriously investigate this crime and to bring the perpetrators to justice.

    The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) is an independent legal body based in Gaza City dedicated to protecting human rights, promoting the rule of law and upholding democratic principles in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. It holds Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations and is an affiliate of the International Commission of Jurists, the Fédération Internationale des Ligues des Droits de l’Homme (FIDH), and the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network. PCHR is a recipient of the 1996 French Republic Award for Human Rights.