Strasbourg, 17.07.2012 – Parliamentary Assembly rapporteur Tiny Kox (Netherlands, UEL), who is currently in Ramallah, has made the following statement:
“I condemn the three illegal executions carried out today by Hamas, and call on the authorities in Gaza to cease all further executions, in line with the de facto moratorium on the death penalty which has been put in place by the Palestinian Authority since 2005.
The death penalty – wherever it takes place – is simply wrong, but these executions are also a violation of Palestinian law, since they were carried out without any consultation with President Abbas.
They fly in the face of the welcome progress made by the Palestinian Authority, which – in addition to the current moratorium – is considering a draft law which would abolish the death penalty altogether, bringing it into line with a fundamental principle of the Council of Europe.
This is consistent with the pledge made by the Palestinian National Council, when it was granted Partnership for Democracy status with the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly last year, to work towards abolition of the death penalty.
I deeply regret that Hamas seems to be going in the opposite direction on this fundamental principle of justice.”
Mr Kox is in the Palestinian Territories to evaluate progress on the commitments made as part of the new partnership between Palestinian elected representatives and the Parliamentary Assembly. During his visit, which ends tomorrow, he is meeting representatives of the Palestinian Authority, the Palestinian Legislative Council, election authorities and civil society.