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Another Death Sentence  Issued in Gaza in One Week, PCHR Calls Upon President to Abolish this Punishment

 

Ref: 70/2018  

On Tuesday, 10 July 2018, Deir al-Balah First Instance Court convened in Khan Younis issued a death sentence by hanging against (M. H), from al-Nusirat Camp, after being convicted of murder. This sentence is the second to be issued in one week. This sentence comes after the deposit of an instrument of accession to Protocol II to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1989 in June last year.

 

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) condemns issuing death sentences, especially in light of absence of fair trial guarantees in the Gaza Strip. PCHR calls upon the Palestinian President to issue a Presidential decree to halt the death penalty until pending the necessary amendments in the local laws.

 

This sentence is the third to be issued since the begenging of 2018, as a similar sentence was issued before one week in a murder case. Additionally, the Gaza Military Court issued a sentence upholding the sentence issued against a civilian, who is convicted of collaboration with Israel. Thus, The total number of death sentences issued in the Palestinian Authority (PA) controlled areas has risen to 205 sentences since 1994, 30 of which have been issued in the West Bank and 175 in the Gaza Strip. Among those issued in the Gaza Strip, 117 sentences have been issued since 2007.

 

Since the establishment of the PA, 41 death sentences were applied, 39 of which were in the Gaza Strip and two in the West Bank. Among the sentences applied in the Gaza Strip, 28 were applied since 2007 without the ratification of the Palestinian President in violation of the law.

 

PCHR express its continued condemnation of such inhuman punishment in light of absence of fair trial guarantees and calls upon the judiciary in Gaza not to use such  sentence until it is abolished in the necessary legal form.

 

PCHR calls upon the Palestinian President to make immediate amendments in the Penal Codes applicable in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, especially the Penal Law No. 74 (1936) which remains in effect in the Gaza Strip, and the Jordanian Penal Code No. 16 (1960) that is in effect in the West Bank. PCHR retreats is calls to halt the application of 1979 Revolutionary Penal Code as it is unconstitutional.