On Sunday, 12 July 2020, the court of first instance in Deir al-Balah, Middle Gaza district, sentenced in absentia two brothers, 42 and 34 years old, to death by hanging in criminal case No. 82/2018 after they were convicted on charges that include the murder of A.K. on 11 November 2017.
Al Mezan’s monitoring shows that this is the sixth death sentence to be issued in the Gaza Strip this year and the nineteenth since Palestine became a party to the Second Optional Protocol to the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, which provides that the death penalty must be abolished. Gaza’s Court of Appeals upheld four of the aforementioned death sentences.
Al Mezan condemns acts of murder and all serious crimes and denounces the use of the death penalty. The death penalty is considered ineffective in preventing or deterring serious crime. Further, Gaza’s authorities are obligated to uphold Palestine’s international law obligations that arise from the State’s accession to international conventions.
Al Mezan therefore reiterates its call on domestic legislatures to 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.