|PCHR Condemns the Execution of 3 Palestinians in Gaza in Violation of the Law|
|Tuesday, 17 July 2012 00:00|
On Tuesday morning, 17 July 2012, the Ministry of Interior implemented death sentences by hanging against 3 Palestinians after convicting them of murders. PCHR condemns the implementation of death sentences in Gaza, and emphasizes that the ratification of death sentences is an exclusive power granted under the Code of Criminal Procedures (3) of 2001 to the President of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA), and the implementation of any death sentence without the President’s ratification constitutes a violation of the law and the constitution.
According to information available to PCHR, the Ministry of Interior in Gaza executed:
1- N. J. D., who was convicted by the Gaza Court of First Instance on 28 April 2011 of murder, in accordance with the Palestinian Penal Code of 1936, and whose sentence was confirmed by the Court of Appeal on 15 June 2011 and by the Court of Cassation on 13 May 2012.
2- F. T. W., who was convicted by the Gaza Court of First Instance on 29 December 2010 of murder, in accordance with the Palestinian Penal Code of 1936, and whose sentence was confirmed by the Court of Appeal on 07 December and by the Court of Cassation on 21 May 2012.
3- H. H. H., who was convicted by the Gaza Court of First Instance on 12 April 2011 of murder, in accordance with the Palestinian Penal Code of 1936, and whose sentence was confirmed by the Court of Appeal on 04 December 2011 and by the Court of Cassation on 26 April 2012.
The Ministry of Interior in Gaza published a statement on its website indicating that death sentences were implemented this morning against 3 persons who were convicted of willful killing. The Ministry further stated that “the implementation of the death sentences came after exhausting all means of appeal and the sentences were confirmed so that they must be implemented after those persons had been granted their right of defense.”
Thus, the number of death sentences implemented by the Gaza Government since the beginning of this year is now 6, and has amounted to 14 since 2007, including 6 death sentences that were based on charges of collaboration with foreign parties and 8 death sentences that were based on criminal cases (murders). Thus, the total number of death sentences implemented since the establishment of the PNA has is now 27.
In light of the above:
1. PCHR confirms that the ratification of death sentences is an exclusive power of the President of the PNA under the Code of Criminal Procedures (3) of 2001, and the implementation of death sentences without the President's ratification constitutes a violation of the law and constitution.
2. PCHR reiterates its position rejecting the death penalty, which is a grave and unjustified violation of the right to life and a form of torture and cruel and inhumane treatment. The death penalty is not a deterrent to crime, as is evidenced by the experience of other states applying this penalty.
3. PCHR points with concern to the ramifications of the political split on the performance of the judiciary, which requires abstaining from the implementation of such irreversible cruel sentences
4. PCHR also points to the growing international trends directed towards the abolishment of the death penalty and the necessity to combine efforts at the Palestinian level for such purpose.
5. PCHR points out that the call for the abolition of the death penalty does not reflect a tolerance for those convicted of serious crimes, but rather a call for utilizing deterrent penalties that maintain our humanity.
6. PCHR calls for reviewing all legislation related to the death penalty, especially Law No. 74 (1936), which remains in effect in the Gaza Strip, and the Jordanian Penal Code No. 16 (1960), which is in effect in the West Bank, and enacting a unified penal code that is in line with the spirit of international human rights instruments, especially those pertaining to the abolition of the death penalty.