Press briefing note In...Gaza
Date: 26 mAY 2017
Subject: (3) Gaza
We condemn the execution of three men by the authorities in Gaza yesterday. The men were convicted by a special so-called “field military court” of involvement in the murder of Hamas leader Mazen Al Faqhaa on 24 March, as well as on charges of “collaboration with an enemy party”. The executions amount to an arbitrary deprivation of life.
International law sets very stringent conditions for the application of the death penalty, including meticulous compliance with fair trial standards. This trial does not appear to have met these standards. The “field military court” allows no possibility of appeal or clemency, in breach of international law. Two of the men were civilians and should not have been tried by a military court. Article 109 of the Palestinian Basic Law requires that executions be carried out after the approval of President Mahmoud Abbas. This law too was ignored. We are also appalled by the public and celebratory nature of the executions. Authorities in Gaza have now carried out 28 executions since the Hamas takeover in 2007, nine of them in the last 12 months.
We reiterate our call to the authorities in Gaza to desist from carrying out further executions; to end the practice of trying civilians before military courts; and to comply with all of its obligations under international law. The UN opposes the use of the death penalty in all circumstances. We call on the State of Palestine to immediately establish an official moratorium on the use of the death penalty with a view to its abolition.
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