Rapporteur strongly condemns death sentences issued in Gaza

Titus Corlatean (Romania, SOC), General Rapporteur of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on the abolition of the death penalty, has strongly condemned the death sentences recently issued in the Hamas-run Gaza strip (Palestinian Authority).

“When obtaining 'Partner for democracy' status with the Assembly, the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) undertook to maintain a moratorium on executions and work towards total abolition of the death penalty. 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,” said the rapporteur.

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On 29 January and 3 February 2019, two new sentences were handed down by first-instance courts in the Gaza strip, despite the fact that in June 2018 the Palestinian Authority signed the 1989 Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) on the abolition of the death penalty.