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Man accused of killing sister while on bail
Published Wednesday 08/08/2012 (updated) 10/08/2012 15:58
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Randa al-Mahareq at a solidarity rally for
prisoners. (MaanImages/HO)
HEBRON (Ma'an) -- A man is being charged for the murder of his sister, who he is suspected of killing after he was released on bail facing charges of beating her.

Days before the death of Randa al-Mahareq, aged 34, her brother and father were detained after she complained to police that they beat her.

The men, from al-Samu near Hebron, were detained for four days, but a court released them on bail on July 18.

Randa's brother has told south Hebron prosecutor Mohammad Gaboon that on his release he returned home and beat Randa on her face and chest. "She lost her conscious and I left the room at that time," he said.

On July 21, Randa's father took her body to a clinic, where a doctor issued a death certificate.

Suspicions were raised by the family's failure to give Randa a proper funeral, said Atta Jawabra, who works at the family protection unit of Hebron police.

"As a result, we immediately informed Hebron police chief Ramadan Awad, about this matter as it might be a murder," he told Ma'an.

Police exhumed Randa's body on July 23 and a pathologist found seven fractures in her ribs.

Police detained the doctor that had issued Randa's death certificate, and after many hours of questioning the doctor said he issued the certificate without examining the body because Randa's father told him she suffered from epilepsy, the prosecutor in the case said.

Several months before her death, Randa had sought police protection from her father and her brother, said Farid al-Atrash, the regional director of the Independent Commission for Human Rights told Ma'an.

In January, she filed complaints with the family protection unit and at police stations in al-Samu, where she lived, and Yatta, a nearby town. Police made her father sign a "pledge" to stop beating her.

The beatings continued and Randa approached the Independent Commission of Human Rights on Feb. 4.

"We called the family protection department to find her a safe house, but family protection said that her father and brother promised to find her a job," al-Atrash said.

Randa was living with her family after her husband threw her out, Hiyan Qaqour, a lawyer for the Women's Center for Legal Aid and Counseling told Ma'an.

Aged 28, Randa was forced to marry a 78-year-old man from Beersheba, in Israel, her mother told Ma'an.

They were married for six years and he regularly beat her, the lawyer said. Randa complained to Israeli police, who arrested him. On her husband's release, he sent her back to her family in as-Samu in the southern West Bank, Qaqour added.

The Women's Center for Legal Aid and Counseling provided Randa legal support to divorce her husband, but the process was complicated by Randa's family's refusal to stand as witnesses in the case.

After four months, her brother finally agreed to stand in court and she was able to get a divorce, the lawyer said.
1 ) Arnold / Canada
08/08/2012 19:05
Some women are mistreated by the men in their lives. This is a worldwide problem. Difference in Islam it that it is acceptable amongst the men. The women have little or no voice.

2 ) nadia / usa
08/08/2012 20:04
May God rest her soul. It breaks my heart to know of such escalating violence against Palestinian women.

3 ) Ben Alofs / UK/Netherlands
08/08/2012 20:19
The tragic death of Randa al-Mahareq at the hands of her own brother underlines the vulnerable position of women in traditional Palestinian society. The abominable dis"honor" killings and physical abuse experienced by women at the hands of male relatives is the curse of Palestinian society. The law should have no mercy with the perpetrators of these shameful crimes. There is still a long way to go in the struggle for gender equality in Palestine.

4 ) Julie / USA
08/08/2012 23:40
#1 your ignorance is profound. it is a worldwide problem accepted by MEN who abuse as well as by THEIR uneducated tradition & culture. it has nothing to do with true islam, per se. are you even capable of genuine research or reading at the college level or above? because ignorance like yours is a choice and it's inexcusable..it does nothing but spread & fuel hate, a very deadly weapon of mass destruction.

5 ) Cecile / France/Palestine
09/08/2012 11:10
@1) Arnold. Your facts are wrong. Islam does not accept this. Unfortunately, traditions inherited from the tribal system still do. The target is archaic and criminal traditions, not Islam. May this poor woman rest in peace. How many more murders by family members who "pledged" to stop their abuse will it take for the Palestinian people to demand justice and the Palestinian legislator to take concrete action? The whole system needs to be overhauled, now.

6 ) Lynn / USA
09/08/2012 18:34
Women are murdered in the US by their husbands, boyfriends,etc but we don't call it honor killings even though that is exactly what it is. We have more domestic violence in the US and we still treat women unfairly (look, read, study if u think i am wrong!). I know because I work in this field. People who want to say this is because of Islam or traditional Palestinian society--well they are just bigots and purposefully use their crude views to shape the news. May u rest in peace Randa al-Mahareq

7 ) Arnold / Canada
09/08/2012 21:15
Julie / USA & Cecile . You two are nuts. Read my words carefully. "difference in Islam is that it is acceptable by the men ....." That does not go against Islam but does go against the men that use Islam and or sharia to suit their purposes which is to control women. By the way recently a woman in Afghanistan was stoned to death for being raped. Did you notice all the men watching and smiling ? Waiting to get their chance to throw a rock at her head.

8 ) Maria / Chile
09/08/2012 23:21
Wherever it happens it's a big crime that has to be stopped soon. This is a consequence of the patriarchal societies we live in, with dominant machos of several different religions, not of religion itself. We need more empowered women in society to start changing these barbaric atrocities, new laws and real punishment for the perpetrators of femicides. No impunity for them

9 ) southparkbear / usa
10/08/2012 00:53
only in arab countries muslim men can say 3 times go and the woman is divorce no rights whatsoever

10 ) Julie / USA
10/08/2012 00:55
#7 stop blaming islam which forbids violence against women and all life. blame the men for not knowing their religion. all you want is to create more hate against islam in your selfish immature narcissism. BY THE WAY, ignorance like yours has already caused the death of many innocent people...so YOU TOO have blood on your hands for spreading such a deadly weapon as your inexcusable ignorance. but then again, that is YOUR CHOICE. idiot. take responsibility FOR ONCE. your lack of humanity is ugly.
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