Three 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals judges voted this month to block U.S. removal of a Jordanian muslim woman who says a cousin in her homeland has vowed to kill her because she got pregnant out of wedlock.

burka

 

Their unanimous ruling stated that the case record “overwhelmingly supports” her belief she would be persecuted if returned to Jordan, where she would face an honor killing or involuntary incarceration for “protective custody.”

The decision by the Cincinnati-based court sends the case of Olga Jad Kamar, who lives in the Detroit area, back to the Board of Immigration Appeals for further review.

Her attorney, George Mann, called the ruling “a very important step forward not just for our client, but for many similarly situated women. It is a recognition by our courts that these practices are against our values and women who are subjected to what amounts to barbarian practices deserve our protection.”

 
 

The Justice Department didn’t respond immediately to a request for comment. Immigration authorities had rejected Kamar’s appeal in 2016.

Kamar, born in Lebanon in 1964 but a Jordan-raised citizen, lost her visiting student status in the United States when she left school, court records show. She was married and had three sons; she divorced and then became pregnant in 2007 before marrying the father.

She and her sister testified in federal immigration proceedings that a first cousin has said it his holy mission to cleanse the family name and restore honor by killing her, following local tribal traditions.

“You understand what the punishment is for a girl like you who brings shame upon your family,” she quoted a letter from her cousin as saying.

The Associated Press reported this year in Amman, Jordan, that Jordan’s main criminal court dealt with nine slayings of women in 2015 that were labeled “honor crimes” and eight more honor killing cases in 2016. Even rape victims have been “punished” in honor crimes, and some Jordanian laws have allowed lenient treatment of those who kill or assault female relatives.

Read More