Ref: 76/2013


On Wednesday, 10 July 2013, the Court of
First Instance in Khan Yunis in the south of the Gaza Strip sentenced M.F.A.,
24, from Rafah, to death by hanging after convicting him of premeditated
killing and robbery, in violation of the Palestinian Penal Code. 


According to PCHR’s documentation, this is the eighth death sentence to
be issued in 2013.  Thus, the total number of death sentences issued by
the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) has risen to 139 sentences since 1994,
of which 27 have been issued in the West Bank and 112 in the Gaza Strip. 
Among those issued in the Gaza Strip, 51 sentences have been issued since 2007.  Additionally, the PNA has executed 29 death
sentences, of which 27 have been executed in the Gaza Strip and 2 in the West
Bank.  Since 2007, the Gaza government
has executed 16 death sentences without ratification of the Palestinian
President in violation of the law. 


PCHR is gravely
concerned over the continued application of the death penalty in PNA 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 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;

4- Confirms that the ratification of
death sentences is an exclusive power of the President of the 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.