Rapporteur condemns death sentences in Gaza, urges Hamas to stay executions

 

Yves Cruchten (Luxembourg, SOC), rapporteur of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on the abolition of the death penalty, has strongly condemned six death sentences issued by a military tribunal in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip on 3 December.

“The death penalty is a cruel and inhuman punishment, which is no longer acceptable to the majority of modern States. When obtaining ‘Partner for democracy’ status with the Assembly, the Palestinian National Council (PNC) undertook to maintain a moratorium on executions and work towards the total abolition of capital punishment. Recently, the Palestinian Authority has also signed the 1989 Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) on the abolition of the death penalty,” recalled the rapporteur.

“All these commitments are also binding on the authorities in Gaza. Therefore, I strongly urge Hamas not to implement these death sentences and to respect the moratorium which the President of the Palestinian National Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, has committed to. New death sentences should no longer be handed down,” the rapporteur added.

The six people, including five Palestinian men and one woman, an Israeli resident, were sentenced to death for “collaborating” with Israel. The Israeli resident was convicted in absentia.