Military Court in Gaza Issues 2 Death Sentences against 2 Persons, including Civilian, Convicted of Collaborating with Occupation
Date: 13 October 2022
Time: 10:20 GMT
PCHR Denounces Trial of Civilians before Military Judiciary and Calls for Abolishing Death Penalty
On Thursday, 13 October 2022, the Permanent Military Court in Gaza issued 2 Death Sentences against 2 persons convicted of collaborating with the Israeli Occupation. (H. A.) (47), a military officer from Khan Yunis detained since last year, was sentenced in presence to death by firing squad, while (Y. B.) (45), a civilian from Gaza City, was sentenced in absentia to death by hanging. The court convicted the mentioned persons of collaborating with hostile foreign entities in violation of Article (31) of the 1979 Palestinian Revolutionary Penal Code.
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) affirms the right of the authorities to prosecute the traitors and collaborators for treason of their national cause, people, and families and for being an integral part of the occupation’s entity. In the meantime, PCHR reiterates that death penalty is not the only mean to achieve justice or deter such crimes; rather, it is an inhumane way that conflicts with Palestine’s international legal obligations under the 1989 Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), aiming at the abolition of the death penalty.
PCHR denounces Gaza authorities’ undue trial of civilians before the military judiciary, in violation of the Palestinian Basic Law, particularly Article (30), which stipulates that, “every Palestinian has the right to resort to his natural judge”. This also constitutes a grave violation of Palestine’s international obligations under Articles 6 and 14 of the 1989 Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) that affirm everyone shall be entitled to a proper judicial process, particularly in terms of issuance of death sentences.
This is the fourth sentence within this week as 2 death sentences were issued against 2 civilians: one after conviction of premeditated murder and the other on grounds of drug dealing. Accordingly, the death sentences issued in 2022 rise to 23; all of them were issued in the Gaza Strip. The total number of death sentences issued in the Palestinian territory since 1994 has reached 276; 30 in the West Bank and 246 in the Gaza Strip. Among those issued in the Gaza Strip, 187 sentences were issued after the 2007 Palestinian political division.
Since the establishment of the PA in 1994, 46 death sentences were executed: 44 in the Gaza Strip, and 2 in the West Bank. Among those executed in the Gaza Strip, 33 were executed without the ratification of the Palestinian President in violation of Palestinian law.
It is noteworthy that no death sentences have been executed in the West Bank since 2002, and the Palestinian President has not ratified any death sentences since 2005. In this context, PCHR stresses the need to perpetuate the policy of refraining from ratifying death sentences in a prelude to abolishing this punishment from the Palestinian legislations.
PCHR emphasizes that the Second Optional Protocol to ICCPR is biding to the authorities in Palestine, including the Gaza Strip. Therefore, use of death penalty must stop in a prelude to abolish it from the legislations. PCHR calls on the authorities in the Gaza Strip not to use the death penalty and replace it with a life sentence with hard labor.
PCHR also calls upon the Palestinian President to issue a law by decree to repeal any articles in the Palestinian Law that conflict with Palestine’s obligations under the ICCPR Protocol aiming at abolishing the death penalty.