Ref: 44/2012

 

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.