Jordan: brothers arrested for beating their sister into a coma

Two Jordanian brothers were arrested on Sunday for beating their sister into a coma in Amman last month. The pair were charged with attempted murder and have been remanded in custody for 15 days.

The woman, 20, who has not been identified by local media, remains unconscious and has not improved noticeably since her admission to the Jordan University Hospital on 24 December. She was allegedly beaten on the head by her brothers, aged 25 and 26, after they caught her talking to an unknown person on the phone, Roya News has reported.

The brothers tied their sister up in the bathroom and beat her over the head repeatedly with a blunt gas pipe. Her family, however, told the judge that she was prone to fainting and had fallen over and hit her head while alone in the bathroom.

Neither man has a prior criminal record. Both were released on bail but were recalled and charged after new evidence surfaced on Saturday. This was a forensic report which said that the victim had received the life-threatening injuries from a number of blows by a blunt object, not a fall. The report added that the young woman had suffered bruises on different parts of her body.

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According to a judicial source cited by the Jordan Times, one of the victim's other siblings changed her version of events, revealing the brothers' role and leading to their arrest. "Based on the new testimony, Amman Attorney General Hassan Abdallat decided to question her two brothers," the source was quoted as saying.

Information about the attack trended on social media over the weekend. It has sparked outrage among Jordanians and triggered calls for better protection for those at risk of domestic violence and its survivors.

In 2017, Human Rights Watch said that 15 to 20 women and girls in Jordan are burned, beaten or stabbed to death by family members every year because they are believed to have transgressed social codes of "honour". Last July, a Jordanian man killed his daughter, Ahlam, by bludgeoning her to death with a brick. An investigation into her murder led to calls for tougher action against those responsible for so-called "honour killings", but little has changed.

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