The Cairo Criminal Court sentenced an Egyptian man who killed his sister earlier this year after suspecting her of “suspicious behaviour” to five years in a maximum security prison.
According to state media Al-Ahram, Karim A. was found guilty of the premediated murder of his sister Suad.
Court proceedings revealed that the murderer took Suad, her children and her mother to their family home in Dar El-Salam, Cairo. While talking with Suad, and in the presence of Suad’s children, the murderer pulled out a switchblade and stabbed her in the neck.
Suad tried to escape but was pushed into a bathroom by her brother who then closed the door from the outside and left her to die.
Court proceedings revealed that the murderer believed his sister had conducted “inappropriate” and “suspicious” acts.
As of the date of this article’s publication, it is unclear why the Cairo Criminal Court sentenced the murderer to five years imprisonment. On social media, a number of Egyptians have expressed their dismay at the prison sentence, which they view as lenient given the nature of the crime.
The Cairo Criminal Court’s sentencing comes as Egypt has witnessed a number of high profile cases of abuse towards women and girls. Earlier this week, the Egyptian Public Prosecution announced that three men have been referred to criminal trial over various charges related to the death of a woman who fell to her death from her apartment’s balcony. In a statement, the Public Prosecution said that the three men had broken into the apartment of the 34-year-old woman while she had a male visitor. The men then tortured the man and terrorised the woman, resulting in her jumping from her balcony out of fear.
Honour Killing in Egypt: The Law
In Egypt, the only form of an ‘honour killing’ that may result in lesser punishment is set out in Article 237 of Egypt’s Penal Code, which allows for a court to exercise leniency towards men who kill their wives upon discovering them in an act of adultery.
Under this Article, a husband who kills his wife immediately after catching her committing adultery can instead be charged with a misdemeanour. Conversely, women are not granted the same right under Article 237. The right is also not granted to other male members of a woman, such as a woman’s father or sibling.