Thursday, December 8, 2022

UN denounces Hamas execution of Gaza prisoners

Three were convicted of murder, and two of “collaboration” with Israel.

• September 6, 2022

The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has condemned the execution of five prisoners by Hamas, the de facto authorities in Gaza.

In a statement issued on Monday, OHCHR stated that five men were executed in the early hours of Sunday.

The agency described the act as a stark violation of Palestine’s domestic law and its obligations under international law.

Three were convicted of murder, and two of “collaboration” with Israel.

According to media reports, the executions were the first in the Occupied Palestinian Territory since 2017.

OHCHR’s spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani said none of the executed prisoners was given the opportunity to seek clemency or a pardon.

Ms Shamdasani urged the de facto authorities in Gaza to establish a moratorium on all executions and called on Palestine to take robust measures to abolish the death penalty in all its territory.

A number of other international, as well as Palestinian, rights groups, have reportedly condemned the death penalty, which President Mahmoud Abbas did not approve.

Ms Shamdasani declared that there are “serious concerns that criminal proceedings resulting in the imposition of death sentences in Gaza do not meet international fair trial standards” and noted that the approval of Mr Abbas is required by national law.

According to the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), courts in Gaza have sentenced around 180 Palestinians to death, executing 33, since Hamas took control in 2007.

Under the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, a General Assembly resolution to abolish the death penalty, Palestine is obliged to abolish executions. 


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