Statement for immediate release
Issued by Human Rights and Democracy Media Center “SHAMS”
The continued issuance of death sentences by the courts of the Gaza Strip should prompt the various parties to pay more attention and work against inhuman punishment
“SHAMS” Center condemns in the strongest and harshest terms the issuance of a new death sentence by the North Gaza Court of First Instance by hanging to death on the citizen (F / N) on the charges against him in a murder case, on Monday 01/4/2021. The issuance of this ruling indicates an ongoing state of insistence and indifference on the part of the parties to the justice system in the Gaza Strip to institutionalize human rights violations, foremost among which is the right to life.
This ruling and what preceded it reflects a dangerous understanding of the philosophy of justice, which is evident from what is repeated by the official judicial authorities in the Gaza Strip, a tendency towards speeding up litigation and issuance of rulings in “public opinion” cases, which comes down to vengeful desires, and coincides with escalating tribal calls by the parties of the Justice system to expedite the issuance and implementation of death sentences. The matter, which we fear, may violate fair trial guarantees.
“SHAMS” Center places all parties in front of their responsibilities, in light of the lack of coordination and initiatives, and the interest in making serious efforts to confront these violent practices. It also urges the various parties to intensify work against the death penalty, by strengthening monitoring of justice institutions, especially court work and sessions, and to exert more efforts in the monitoring framework, and to double coordination and partnership efforts between local, regional and international civil organizations working to combat the death penalty, under pressure and advocacy.
“SHAMS” Center stresses that the timing of the ruling, in light of the relentless Palestinian efforts exerted to achieve reconciliation and the positive indications about the intention to hold general elections, can only be read as an expression of the desire of the de facto authority in the Gaza Strip represented by the “Hamas” movement to challenge the procedures that It was stipulated in the Palestinian Basic Law requiring the president to ratify death sentences, and challenging the official Palestinian accession to the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which aims to abolish the death penalty, and establish the status quo in the Gaza Strip. This approach from the “Hamas” movement carried an early electoral campaign message, a display of strength, and messages about the ability to firm, tie and control, and the eligibility of judgment by addressing the public mood of citizens in support of the death penalty. Therefore, such new provisions would establish legal centers that violate the union efforts and good intentions aimed at achieving reconciliation, re-mixing the cards and renewing the conflict and disputes over powers and competencies between the authorities. These provisions would also entrench “official” violence as a natural and required act of judgment, a violence that Hamas movement began using early.