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Gaza judiciary issues one death sentence and upholds two others: Al Mezan calls for complete abolition of the practice

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26 July 2023 |Reference 46/2023

Justice palace complexJustice palace complex

On Tuesday, 25 July 2023, Gaza’s Court of Appeals upheld a death sentence by hanging against a 65-year-old man. The man had been convicted of drug trafficking in violation of Article 28(1) of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Law No. 7 of 2013.

On Monday, 24 July 2023, the Permanent Military Court issued a death sentence against a 36-year-old man also convicted of drug trafficking.  Notably, on the same day, the Permanent Military Court upheld another death sentence by hanging against a 33-year-old man convicted of killing a policeman and arrested on 10 June 2023.

These new rulings bring the number of death sentences issued since the beginning of 2023 to eight, and 66 since the State of Palestine ratified the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which aims at the abolition of the death penalty, in 2019.

Al Mezan remains deeply concerned about the continued issuance of death sentences in the Gaza Strip and reiterates its strongest condemnation of this practice, which constitutes a form of inhuman punishment in violation of international legal standards. This punishment also violates Palestine’s obligations under international human rights law arising from the State’s accession to international treaties, including ICCPR, its Second Optional Protocol, and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT).

Al Mezan calls on all competent Palestinian authorities to immediately halt the use of the death penalty, abolish it completely, and replace it with more efficient punishments in compliance with Palestine’s international obligations.