PACE rapporteur condemns two death sentences issued by Gaza Court

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 two death sentences issued by Gaza Court of First Instance on 26 July.

“These sentences have been handed down in the absence of fair trial guarantees in the Gaza strip and despite the fact that the Palestinian Authority has recently signed the 1989 Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), on the abolition of the death penalty”, the rapporteur noted.

“When obtaining the status of ‘Partner for democracy’ with the Assembly, the Palestinian National Council (PNC), has undertaken to maintain a moratorium on executions and work towards total abolition. Once again, I call on the Palestinian authorities to introduce without delay a moratorium on all executions in the Gaza strip and to amend its criminal legislation in compliance with their international obligations. Pending these amendments, new death sentences should no longer be handed down”, the rapporteur added.