|PCHR Condemns Execution of 3 Palestinians in Gaza|
|Saturday, 07 April 2012 11:00|
The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) condemns the implementation of death sentences against 3 Palestinians by the Ministry of Interior in Gaza this morning. These death sentences were implemented without the ratification of the Palestinian President. PCHR reiterates that the ratification of death sentences is an exclusive power of the President of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) under the Code of Criminal Procedures (3) of 2001; the implementation of any death sentences without the President's ratification constitutes a violation of the law and constitution.
According to a statement issued by the Ministry of Interior in Gaza, on Saturday morning, 07 April 2012, three men were executed by hanging:
1. W. J., who was sentenced to by the Permanent Military Court to death by hanging after convicting him of treason and involvement in murder in accordance with the Palestinian Revolutionary Penal Code of 1979;
2. M. B., who was sentenced by the Deir al-Balah Court of First Instance to death by hanging after convicting him of premeditated killing in accordance with the Palestinian Penal Code of 1936; and
3. M. A., who was sentenced by the Khan Yunis Court of First Instance to death by hanging after convicting him of premeditated killing, abducting and raping a boy in accordance with the Palestinian Penal Code of 1936.
The Ministry stressed that the three men were executed after all available appeal mechanisms had been exhausted.
According to information available to PCHR, on 02 February 2012, the High Military Court upheld a death sentence by hanging issued on 29 March 2011 by the Permanent Military Curt against W. K. J., 27, from al-Boreij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip. On 16 February 2012, the Gaza Court of Cassation rejected an appeal submitted by M. B., 49, from the central Gaza Strip town of Deir al-Balah, who was sentenced by Deir al-Balah Court of First Instance on 30 May 2010 to death by hanging. On 29 February 2012, the Court of Cassation in Gaza rejected an appeal filed by M.A., 21 from al-Nasser neighborhood in Rafah, and confirmed the death sentence by hanging issued against him by Khan Yunis Court of First Instance on 24 November 2010
Since 2006, the government in Gaza has implemented 11 death sentences including 6 sentences for collaboration with foreign bodies and 5 sentences for criminal crimes (murders). Since the establishment of the PNA in 1994, 24 death sentences have been implemented.
In light of the above:
1. PCHR confirms that the ratification of death sentences is an exclusive power of the President of the Palestinian National Authority (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 experiences 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 points also to the growing international trends directed towards the abolishment of death penalty and the necessity to conjugate 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 an end to such implementation of the PLO Revolutionary Penal Code of 1979 because it is unconstitutional.
7. 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) that 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.