Bedouin Woman Who Killed Husband Who Raped Her Ordered for Release

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A Bedouin village in the Negev, December 16, 2018.
A Bedouin village in the Negev, December 16, 2018. Credit: Eliyahu Hershkovitz
Revital Hovel
Revital Hovel

The parole board Tuesday ordered the release of a young Bedouin woman who has served six years of an 11-year sentence for killing the man who raped her after she was forced to marry him.

The prosecution asked that the woman’s release be delayed for six days so it can consider whether to appeal.

Last summer, President Reuven Rivlin shortened the woman’s sentence to nine years, taking into consideration the circumstances of the killing. Thanks to this move, the parole board discussed her case in October, but her request for release was denied because she was deemed not to have the familial and social-support system to protect her.

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At Tuesday’s hearing, prosecutors said they still opposed her release until she could join a group rehabilitation program where she would learn “ways of life in normative society.”

FILE Photo: The Neve Tirza women's prison, 2017. Credit: Tomer Appelbaum

When the woman was 16, her parents ordered her to marry against her will – this was her first, earlier marriage. Her husband was violent, locked her in the house and raped her. She fled and was found by the family, after which she was severely beaten and tried to commit suicide for a second time.

Following her suicide attempt, her father paid her husband to divorce her. When she was 17, she was once again forced to marry, this time to a man 21 years her senior who was already married.

On their wedding night her husband raped her and refused to send her back to her parents’ home. The next day, she stabbed him to death with a kitchen knife and gave herself up to the police.

The program the prosecution envisioned for the woman began with a minimum of four two-day furloughs from prison, but the woman could not meet this demand because she did not want to take her furloughs in her home community.

In 2017 she went on two furloughs of eight hours each, which she spent in a women’s shelter. Two furloughs were canceled at her request because of difficulties in finding people to accompany her while outside of prison.

The woman's attorney, Roni Aloni-Sadovnik, said that "after a long, complex and exhausting debate at the Ayalon Prison parole board, the committee granted our petition and rejected the state's claims. She will be moved over the next few days to a secret location, where we will help her learn to conduct herself in society and enjoy the freedom and the independence."  

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