Human Rights and Democracy Media Centers SHAMS

مركز إعلام حقوق الإنسان والديمقراطية "شمس"

Statement for immediate release

Published by Human Rights and Democracy Media Center “SHAMS”

Gaza Strip Courts mark the International Day against the Death Penalty by issuing a new death sentence

“SHAMS” Center received, with great sorrow, the ruling issued by the Gaza First Instance Court on October 6, 2020, to execute citizen (M.A) by hanging to death. This raises the number of death sentences issued this year to (8), in addition to supporting separate other sentences. This ruling comes on the cusp of the International Day Against the Death Penalty, which comes this year under the slogan ” The right to legal representation for individuals who may face the death penalty.”

Issuing this ruling is reflecting the strange and irresponsible identification of the Gaza courts with the will of the de-facto authority, which fails to provide basic life services to citizens as a result of the Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip and the successive wars and its uniqueness of judgment and the absence of governance procedures, and its sentences the accused to death as an easy solution instead of seeking radical and real solutions to the crime as part of declared strategies that start from achieving social justice and improving living and economic conditions first.

“SHAMS” Center looks at this new ruling as providing additional evidence that the death penalty applied in Palestine does not even reach the minimum level in providing fair trial guarantees, including the requirement for the president to ratify the rulings following Article 109 of the Palestinian Basic Law.

“SHAMS”  Center affirms that the challenge facing all Palestinians is to achieve justice and equality among all citizens and to find means of decent living in a way that dries up the sources of crime and eliminates its causes in its infancy, and that it is sufficient to witness a criminal environment as a result of the combined social, economic, political and psychological factors of oppression. It is a collective mistake that makes everyone responsible for the spread of crime.

“SHAMS” Center calls on the justice sector, foremost of which is the judiciary in the Gaza Strip, to immediately and completely stop issuing new death sentences or uphold old ones, and to respect the value of life, Palestine’s international obligations, the Palestinian Basic Law, and the International Day that falls within days.