On Tuesday, 16 June 2020, the Permanent Military Court in Gaza sentenced N.A., a 64-year-old resident of North Gaza district, to death by hanging after being convicted of collaboration with hostile entities, in accordance with the Palestinian Revolutionary Penal Code of 1979. N.A. had been apprehended on 25 February 2015.
Documentation by Al Mezan Center for Human Rights shows that this is the fourth death penalty to be issued in Gaza this year, and the seventeenth since the Sate of Palestine accession to the Second Optional Protocol to the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights of 1989, which provides for abolishing the death penalty. In addition, the death penalty was upheld on appeal for four convicted persons.
Al Mezan denounces the death penalty ruling issued in Gaza where the de facto authorities are equality obligated to uphold to uphold with the State of Palestine’s obligations under international treaties. Al Mezan further stresses that the Revolutionary Penal Code is not part of the body of law applicable in Palestine as outlined in the Presidential Decree No. 1 of 1994. It also infringes on the defendant’s right to a fair by a competent, independent and impartial court formed in accordance with the law, in which all safeguards are provided to the defendant to exhaust all means of self-defense.
Al Mezan calls on the competent Palestinian authorities to cease issuing death sentences, and review and revise relevant legislations with the view to abolishing the death penalty. 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.