Ref: 88/2010

 

On
Wednesday, 22 September 2010, the
Permanent Military Court in Gaza sentenced Omar Hmeidan Kaware’,
28, from Khan Yunis, to death by firing squad after convicting him of
collaboration with enemy parties.

 

The
Court was convened by Judge Ayman Imad Addin, acting as a president, and judges
Husam Shehada and Sami al-Ashram as members. They sentenced Kaware’ to death in
accordance with Article 131(a) of the 1979 Palestinian Penal Law.

 

The
number of death sentences issued by Palestinian courts during 2010 now stands
at 5 sentences, all in the Gaza Strip

 

The
Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) notes that the 1979 Palestinian
Penal Law is the Revolutionary Penal Code of the Palestine Liberation
Organization (PLO).  It is unconstitutional within the Palestinian
National Authority (PNA) as it has not been presented to, nor approved by, the
legislature.  PCHR has repeatedly called for its abolition as it violates
international fair trial standards.

 

PCHR
is gravely concerned over the continued application of the death penalty in the
Occupied Palestinian Territory and:

 

1. Emphasizes the
right of the PNA to prosecute traitors and collaborators for their treason to
their national cause, people and families, as they are an integral part of the
Israeli occupation, but stresses the right of everyone to fair trial that
ensures deterring punishment while maintaining his/her human dignity, and
reiterates that its opposition to the death penalty is in principle
professional and moral.

2. Calls upon the
PNA to announce an immediate moratorium on the use of capital punishment, which
violates international human rights standards and instruments, particularly the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), the Covenant of Civil and
Political Rights (1966), and the UN Convention against Torture (1984);

3. Calls upon
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas not to ratify these cruel and inhumane
sentences, and to prevent their implementation;


4. Reiterates that
abolishing the death penalty does not imply leniency towards dangerous
criminals, who must be subjected to punishment that acts as a deterrent, but
also maintains human dignity;

5. Calls upon the PNA
to stop the application of the PLO Revolutionary Penal Code of 1979 as it is
unconstitutional; and

6. Calls upon the
PNA to review all legislation relative to the death penalty, especially Law No.
74 (1936) that remains in effect in the Gaza Strip, and the Jordanian Penal
Code No. 16 (1960) that remains in effect in the West Bank, and to enact a
unified penal code that conforms to the spirit of international human rights
instruments, especially those pertaining to the abolition of the death penalty.