Ref: 99/2013

On Thursday, 26 September 2013, the Gaza
Court of Cassation rejected an appeal against a death sentence by hanging
issued against (A.Z.G), 35, from al-Shati’ refugee camp, who is convicted of
murdering (A.E.E), on 2 August 2009.  On
15 December 2012, the Court of Appeal supported the death sentence issued by
the Gaza Court of First Instance on 22 February 2010, against the
above-mentioned person.

According to PCHR’s documentations, 10
death sentences have been issued in 2013, of which 9 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 141, of which 114 were issued in the
Gaza Strip and 27 in the West Bank since 1994. Among those issued in the Gaza
Strip, 53 have been issued since 2007. The Palestinian Authority also executed
29 death sentences, of which 27 have been executed in the Gaza Strip and 2 in
the West Bank. Among those executed in the Gaza Strip, 16 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.