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Brutal murder of young Jordanian woman sparks calls for change in law

After the woman was allegedly murdered by her father, campaigners press for an overhaul of the justice system
Ahlam’s death has sparked renewed calls for the Jordanian government to change constitutional articles that exonerate men who commit murder while in 'a fit of rage' (Reuters)

Large numbers of people have expressed anger and concern on social media over the death of a 30-year-old woman, Ahlam, who was murdered on Friday. 

Ahlam had reportedly suffered from domestic abuse at the hands of her father in the months leading to her death.

An audio recording has surfaced on social media, apparently of Ahlam screaming as she ran out into the street before her father eventually caught her and was said to have beaten her with a brick.

Using the hashtag "Ahlam was betrayed", social media users said neighbours had heard unusual screams and saw Ahlam running into the street, covered in blood, trying to escape her father.

He then allegedly sat beside her lifeless body, drank tea and smoked a cigarette.

Ahlam’s death has sparked renewed calls for the Jordanian government to change constitutional articles that exonerate men who commit murder while in "a fit of rage".

According to local media, Ahlam died in the al-Balqa governorate, northwest of Jordan’s capital Amman on Friday.

The reports said her father was arrested on Saturday and will stand trial, but that no date had been confirmed.  

In March, 36-year-old Eman al-Khateeb published a Facebook live broadcast tearfully detailing the domestic abuse she faced at home at the hands of her brother and mother. 

Despite coronavirus lockdown rules, Khateeb said her family forced her out of their home with no money or belongings.

She spoke out against the stigma attached to women who are divorced with children and are forced to move back into their family home with little to no support from their ex-husbands. 

Ahlam's death has triggered a comparison with Israa Ghrayeb, who was allegedly killed by her father in Palestine in August after she shared a picture of her and her fiance on social media.

This article is available in French on Middle East Eye French edition.