Rapporteur strongly condemns death sentence issued in the Hamas-run Gaza strip

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 sentence recently issued in the Hamas-run Gaza strip (Palestinian Authority).

“Over a year ago, 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, and undertook to take all necessary measures to abolish it within its jurisdiction. Moreover, when obtaining the status of ‘Partner for democracy’ with the Assembly, the Palestinian National Council (PNC) committed itself to maintain a moratorium on executions and work towards total abolition. All these commitments are also binding on the authorities in Gaza.

Once again, I strongly urge Hamas not to implement any death sentence and to abstain from using the death penalty. I also call on the Palestinian authorities to introduce without delay a moratorium on all executions within its jurisdiction and to amend its criminal legislation in compliance with their international obligations,” said the rapporteur. “Even the most serious crimes cannot justify the death penalty and, therefore, the use of other criminal sanctions should be considered to punish perpetrators”.

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On 9 July 2019, the First Instance Court in the Gaza strip issued a death sentence by hanging against J.M. (69 years old) after convicting him of murder. This has been the third capital sentence passed since the beginning of 2019.