AMMAN, Jordan - A Jordanian man fatally shot his 17-year-old daughter whom he suspected of having sex despite a medical exam that proved her chastity, an official said Thursday. The man surrendered to police hours after the killing, saying he had done it for family honor.
A state forensic pathologist, who works at the National Institute of Forensic Medicine in Amman where an autopsy was performed, said in a phone interview that the girl had run away from home several times for unknown reasons.
Weeks ago, the girl had returned home from a family protection clinic after doctors had vouched for her virginity and the father had signed a pledge not to harm her, the pathologist said on condition of anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the case.
"The tests proved that she was a virgin," the pathologist said. The girl returned home only after her father signed a statement promising not to harm her, he added.
The father shot the girl four times in the head on Tuesday. On Wednesday, an autopsy was performed that again showed "she was still a virgin," the pathologist said.
Authorities have not disclosed the names of the father or the daughter or even their hometown, saying only that they lived in a southern province.
The crime is the first "honor killing" this year in Jordan, where many men consider sex out of wedlock to be an almost indelible stain on a family's reputation. On average, about 20 women in the country are killed by their relatives in such cases each year. Women have been killed for simply dating.
Global human rights organizations have condemned such killings and appealed to King Abdullah II to put an end to them.
In response, the government has abolished a section in the penal code that allowed for "honor" killers to get sentences as lenient as six months in prison. Instead, the government has told judges to consider honor killings on a par with other homicides, which in Jordan are punishable by up to 15 years in jail.
But attempts to introduce harsher sentences have been blocked by conservative lawmakers who argue that tougher penalties would lead to promiscuity.
Queen Rania also has called for harsher punishment for such killers.