Double 'honour' killing in Saudi

Action by the Saudi religious police is being blamed for a double “honour” killing in the kingdom. Two sisters, identified as Reem, 21, and Nouf, 19, were arrested by the mutawwa on July 2 after being caught “in suspicious circumstances with two unrelated men”.

They were detained in a “social protection” home but released on July 5. According to Arab News, their brother “waited until the women came out. He reportedly shot one sister in the head and discharged three bullets into the other. He then tossed the gun near the bodies.”

The son has been arrested for murder and, under normal circumstances, would face the death penalty. However, Saudi law allows this to be commuted to a prison sentence if a victim’s family forgives the killer.

In this case the victims’ family is also that of the killer, and Saudi newspapers say the father has already forgiven his son on the grounds that he was defending the family’s honour.

Posted by Brian Whitaker, 12 July 2009