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Press Release: Al Mezan condemns the new death sentence handed down in Gaza and calls for the complete abolition of this practice

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1 August 2022 |Reference 37/2022

On Monday morning, 1 August 2022, the Permanent Military Court in Gaza sentenced a 26-year-old man to death by firing squad, following his conviction for the killing of a child and a man from the Dardouna family on 14 July 2022 during a family dispute in the North Gaza District, in which the use of firearm was reported.

   

Al Mezan reiterates its strongest criticism of the use of the death penalty, as the practice constitutes a form of inhuman punishment contrary to international legal standards. It is also widely regarded as ineffective in preventing or deterring serious crime. Also, this punishment violates Palestine’s obligations under international human rights law that arise from the State’s accession to international treaties, especially the ICCPR and its Second Optional Protocol.  

 

This new death sentence also comes just days after the UN Committee Against Torture called on the State of Palestine to “take affirmative steps to formalize the moratorium on the death penalty with a view to abolishing the death penalty in law in both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, in line with its obligations under the Second Optional Protocol […]. It should also intensify its efforts to commute all death sentences into alternative penalties, ensure that conditions of detention for condemned prisoners do not constitute cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment or treatment, strengthen legal safeguards and guarantees of due process in all phases of the proceedings and concerning all offences and take all possible measures to prohibit military courts from exercising jurisdiction over civilians in the Gaza Strip.”

 

Accordingly, Al Mezan calls on all Palestinian authorities to immediately stop issuing death sentences, completely abolish the practice, and apply more efficient punishments in compliance with Palestine’s international obligations.