Ref: 105/2013


On Monday, 28 October 2013, the Gaza
Court of Appeal confirmed a death sentence by hanging issued by the Gaza Court
of First Instance against M. F. A, 27, from Jabalya refugee camp, after
convicting him in accordance with the Palestinian Penal Code of 1936 of
committing a murder. 


On Thursday, 24 October 2013, the Khan
Yunis Court of First Instance in the southern Gaza Strip sentenced Y. Sh., 41,
to death by hanging after convicting him of committing the crimes of murder and
robbery.  It also sentenced another 4
persons to life imprisonment in the same case.


According to PCHR’s documentations, 11
death sentences have been issued in 2013, of which 10 were issued in the Gaza
Strip and 1 in the West Bank. Thus, the total number of death sentences issued
by the Palestinian Authority has risen to 146, of which 119 were issued in the
Gaza Strip and 27 in the West Bank since 1994. Among those issued in the Gaza
Strip, 61 have been issued since 2007. The Palestinian Authority also executed
30 death sentences, of which 28 have been executed in the Gaza Strip and 2 in
the West Bank. Among those executed in the Gaza Strip, 17 have been executed
since 2007 without ratification of 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 for an immediate moratorium on the use of the death penalty
as a form of punishment because it violates international human rights
standards and instruments, especially the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
(1948), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966), and
the UN Convention against Torture (1984);

2. Calls for reviewing all legislation related to the death penalty,
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, 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;

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

4. Stresses that ratification of the implementation of death sentences
is an absolute power of the Palestinian President according to the Palestinian
Basic Law and relevant laws, and no death sentence can be implemented without
such ratification.