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In View of Issuing another Death Sentence in Gaza, PCHR Calls Upon Palestinian President to Sign the Second Optional Protocol Aiming at Abolition of Death Penalty

Ref: 24/2015

 

In view
of the issuing another death sentence in the Gaza Strip, which is the third of
its kind in the Palestinian Authority since the beginning of 2015, the
Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) reiterates its demand for the
Palestinian President to sign the Second Optional Protocol to the International
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, aiming at the abolition of the death
penalty.

 

 

On
Monday, 25 May 2015, the Court of First Instance in Gaza City sentenced M.Z.H.,
from al-Shuja’iya neighborhood in Gaza City, to death by hanging after convicting
him of killing his uncle A.E.A., on the ground of a family dispute. The
aforementioned person was found dead, as he suffered several stab wounds in
2008.

 

Thus,
the total number of death sentences issued by the Palestinian Authority since
1994 has risen to 159, of which 131 have been issued in the Gaza Strip and 28
in the West Bank. Among those issued in the Gaza Strip, 74 have been issued
since Hamas took over the Gaza Strip in 2007. The Palestinian Authority also
executed 32 death sentences, of which 30 have been executed in the Gaza Strip
and two in the West Bank. Among those executed in the Gaza Strip, 19 have been
executed since 2007 without ratification by the Palestinian President in
violation of the law.

 

PCHR is
gravely concerned over the continued application of the death penalty in
Palestinian Authority controlled areas, and:

 

1. Calls
upon the Palestinian Authority, as a non-member observer state in the United
Nations, to sign the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on
Civil and Political Rights, aiming at the abolition of the death penalty 1989;

 

2. Calls
upon the Palestinian Legislative Council, when convened, to reconsider the
Palestinian legislations and laws relevant to this penalty, especially the
Penalty Code no. 74/1936 applied in the Gaza Strip and the and the Jordanian
Penal Code No. 16/1960 applied in the West Bank, and enact 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;

 

3. Points
out that the call for 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; and