UAE cancels lenient penalties for ‘honour killings’ as it reforms personal and family laws
A statement released to official news agency WAM by the UAE federal government on Saturday, November 7 said that legal clauses that allowed judges to issue lenient sentences in “honour crimes” has been cancelled with immediate effect.
The Emirati government said that these crimes, once given merciful sentences because of their nature, will now be treated the same as any other murder case.
Human rights groups say thousands of women and girls ate killed in the Middle East and South Asia every year by family members, because of perceived crimes against the family “honour”.
In addition, the government has also reformed the inheritance law, meaning that inheritance and divorce settlements will no longer be governed by the Islamic religious law (sharia), which saw many women lose out on their entitlements due to cultural prejudices.
WAM said the UAE would also de-criminalise some acts which do not cause harm to others, with possible examples including alcohol consumption and consensual sex outside marriage, while leaving to prosecutors and judges to define those acts.
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