2 Death Sentences in One Week: PCHR Demands Abolition of Death Penalty in the Gaza Strip
Date: 01 June 2022
Time: 11:00 GMT
On Wednesday, 01 June 2022, Major Felonies Court in Gaza issued a death sentence by hanging against (M. H.), from al-Nusirat refugee camp, as he was convicted of murder of (B. J.) (11) and (N. H.) (45) on 09 July 2006, after he shot them with a firearm on grounds of a family dispute.
Moreover, on Thursday, 26 May 2022, the Major Felonies Court in Gaza unanimously issued a sentence by hanging against (A. B.) (35), from Rafah, as he was convicted of the murder of his brother (A. B.), 28, after stabbing him with a sharp tool in a quarrel between them on 02 March 2020.
PCHR emphasizes its total support for the families of victims and importance of the rule of law. In the meantime, PCHR reiterates that death penalty is not the only mean to achieve justice or deter such crimes; rather, it is an inhumane way that conflicts with Palestine’s international legal obligations under the 1989 Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), aiming at the abolition of the death penalty.
Accordingly, the death sentences issued in 2022 in Gaza rise to ten, and two sentences issued in affirmation of former death sentences. The total number of death sentences issued in the Palestinian territory since 1994 reached 262; 30 in the West Bank and 232 in the Gaza Strip. Among those issued in the Gaza Strip, 173 sentences were issued after the 2007 Palestinian political division.
Since the establishment of the PA in 1994, 41 death sentences were executed: 39 in the Gaza Strip, and two in the West Bank. Of those executed in the Gaza Strip, 28 were conducted without the ratification of the Palestinian President in violation of Palestinian law. In this context, PCHR stresses the need to refrain from ratifying death sentences in a prelude to abolishing this punishment from the Palestinian legislations.
PCHR reminds the authorities that the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights is biding to Palestine, including the Gaza Strip. Therefore, PCHR calls on the authorities in the Gaza Strip not to use the death penalty and replace it with a life sentence with hard labor.
PCHR also calls upon the Palestinian President to issue a law by decree to suspend the use of legal articles related to the death penalty in the Palestinian that conflict with Palestine’s obligations under the ICCPR Protocol aiming at abolishing the death penalty.