(R. M) Qab, 19, is too close to being killed by her brother, as he has publicly pledged to do in the name of “honor.” (R. M) is one of the two women whose stories we ran previously.
Since then, we’ve been doing our best to save the lives of these two women, even though the government has ignored their cases to the extent of almost condoning “honor killings” all together.

There’s been some developments in these cases over the past week. One of the young women finally married the man she loved and wanted to be with, and she was released from custody to go with him to an undisclosed location.
But the second woman is still detained, and now that her family has dropped the (fraudulent) theft charges they had brought against her, she is due to be released by law.
The problem is that even though her brother has publicly an-nounced he will kill her to “reclaim the family’s honor,” the court plans to release her directly to her family. In other words, release her directly to the slaughter!
The acting judge, (S.S), is in a difficult dilemma. On the one hand there’s the family with all its laden traditions alongside people in the local community pressuring him to release (R. M) to the family for them to carry out the slaughter that the brother is promising (the father does not condone it.) And on the other hand his own morality and sense of ethics as a judge disallow him to put in danger the life of a citizen. He knows very well that any guaran-tees her family give for her safety will be nothing beyond ink on paper. He knows well that she will be slaughtered. He has been indecisive on the matter.
The judge considered releasing (R. M) to one of the province’s respectable elders, but the elder has made it clear that he, in turn, would deliver her to her family because they have promised not to hurt her.
This would be a very dangerous thing to do. In past crimes com-mitted in the name of “honor,” families have provided the same (false) guarantees of safety for their daughter. But that has not prevented them from slaughtering her upon her release, as in the highly publicized case of 15-year-old Zahra Ezzo.
The life of (R. M) is hours from being snuffed. We cannot remain silent. We ask the judge to act morally and ethically, and to pro-tect the life of a young woman, to release her to one of the or-ganizations or parties who can protect her and transport her with a police escort to a safe haven. This is also what (R.M) has re-quested of the judge. She is an adult and by law he must acqui-esce to her request.
We have no choice but to hold the judge fully responsible for (R. M)’s well-being if he releases her to her family. He cannot deny his knowledge of the threats to her life, nor that such a step means an imminent death.
We must also point to the respectable clergy in Sweida who have already said religion would not condone this murder. We now hold you to your word. This woman’s life is in danger in the name of “honor.” This is the time for you to make a swift and clear deci-sion. This is the time for you to protect this woman and declare publicly and without ambiguity that hurting her is a crime against religion.
We also call upon all individuals and organizations who work with human rights and the rights of women and a better future for hu-manity to get involved to protect (R. M). Silence in this case is nothing less than condoning the slaughter of (R. M).
We also hold the entire Syrian government responsible for (R.M)’s well-being, especially the President of Parliament and the Minister of Justice and the Minister of Interior, who is in charge of protect-ing the lives of citizens. They are now fully aware of the danger (R.M) faces.
The Syrian government is fully capable of protecting (R.M) if it wishes to do so, as it is capable of stopping the blood bath that is called “honor killing.”
Many people in (R.M)’s province have gone to the streets to pledge protection for her. One of these people is attorney Ghada al-Abdullah, who points out that sending a young woman to the slaughter in a country that claims to revere citizenship - not merely the citizenship of male killers - is against the law. It is also against human rights and against Islamic law.
This wonderful lawyer is using all her meager resources and put-ting herself in danger to protect (R.M).
(R.M) is legally an adult, and it is her right to be released from custody without involving her family.
There are other wonderful volunteer lawyers from Sweida too, headed by attorney Jamal Huneidi, who are campaigning for (R.M)’s protection, and raising funds to help her leave the prov-ince and start a new life elsewhere.
Finally, we must commend Rima Flaihan, a team member of Syr-ian Women Observatory, for her extraordinary efforts in helping the cases of the two women mentioned here. She is not alone in this fight, and her work does not go unnoticed.

Bassam al-Kadi, 12/11/2007, (The government must decide immediately: Will it protect the life of a young woman, or become a partner in an “honor killing”!)
Translate by: Rasha Elass