|Gaza Court of Appeal Sentences Man to Death|
|Monday, 17 September 2012 00:00|
On Sunday, 16 September 2012, the Gaza Court of Appeal sentenced H.M.A. (27), from the BaniSuhaila village east of Khan Yunis in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, after convicting him for committing 2 murders: one against a child, M.M.A., in 2000 when he was a minor; and one against H.H.B. in 2009.
On 19 May 2010, the Khan Yunis Court of First Instance sentenced H.M.A. to life imprisonment for the second crime, in which H.H.B. was killed on 05 July 2009, after convicting him of unintentional killing according to the Palestinian Penal Code No. 74 of 1936. On 16 September 2012, the Gaza Court of Appeal sentenced H.M.A. to death by hanging after convicting him of the willful killing of a child, M.M.A., on 12 July 2000 when he was a minor, amending the ruling issued by the Court of First Instance in 2010.
According to PCHR’s documentation, this sentence is the fifth of its kind in 2012. Thus, the number of death sentences issued by the Palestinian Authority (PA) since its establishment in 1994 is 130, including 104 death sentences issued in the Gaza Strip and 26 in the West Bank; 44 of these sentences have been issued since 2007. Of these sentences, 27 have been executed, including 25 in the Gaza Strip and 2 in the West Bank. Since 2007, 14 death sentences have been executed in the Gaza Strip.
PCHR is extremely concerned about the continued application of the death penalty in PNA controlled areas, and:
1. Calls for the announcement of an immediate moratorium on the use of the death penalty as a form of punishment as it violates international human rights standards and instruments, especially the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the UN Convention against Torture.
2. Calls upon Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to not ratify such cruel and inhuman punishment.
3. Calls for a review of 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 remains in effect in the West Bank, and the enactment of a unified penal code that conforms to the spirit of international human rights instruments, especially those pertaining to the abolition of the death penalty.
4. Points out that a call for the abolishment of the death penalty does not reflect a tolerance for those convicted of serious crimes, but rather is a call for utilizing deterrent penalties that maintain our humanity.
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