On Tuesday, 18 August 2020, the Court of First Instance in Khan Younis, Gaza Strip, sentenced a 31-year-old man from Rafah to death by hanging after he was convicted of murder in the death of 22-year-old Mahmoud Bashar Ibrahim Al-Hamayda.
Al-Hamayda was pronounced dead at around 2:10pm on Saturday, 18 August 2018, at the Gaza European Hospital. The deceased was fatally shot in the head in a violent family dispute in Al-Shaboura neighborhood, Rafah.
Documentation by Al Mezan Center for Human Rights shows that this is the ninth death sentence issued in the Gaza Strip in 2020 and the 22nd since Palestine became a party to the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which obliges states to abolish the death penalty. In addition, the death penalty was upheld on appeal for six convicted persons.
Al Mezan condemns the act of murder and all serious crimes, while also denouncing the use of the death penalty. The death penalty is considered ineffective in preventing or deterring serious crime and is a form of inhumane punishment.
Al Mezan recalls that the authorities in Gaza are obligated to uphold Palestine’s international law obligations arising from the State’s accession to international treaties. Domestic legislatures must therefore ensure that penalties for serious crimes are consistent with the provisions of international law and the requirements of human dignity. The competent Palestinian authorities must immediately cease issuing death sentences, completely abolish the death penalty, and comprehensively review and revise relevant laws to ensure their compliance with Palestine’s international obligations.