Date: 29 October 2008
Time: 11:30 GMT
Upholds 4 Death Sentences: PCHR Calls upon Palestinian President to Act, and for Abolition of Death Penalty in Palestinian Law
On Wednesday, 29 October 2008, the Gaza Court of Cassation, headed by Judge Abdul Raouf al-Halabi, Head of the Higher Justice Council, issued its support for the death sentences by hanging issued by the Court of Appeal on 14 June 2005 against 4 Palestinians. The defendants are:
1. Eihab Diab Abu al-Amrain, 28;
2. Rami Said Juha, 28;
3. Abdul Fattah Mohammed Sammour, 26
4. Said Jameel Zuhod, 22.
These deaths sentences date back to 3 April, 2004, when the Court of Gaza sentenced the first three defendants to death, whilst the final defendant, Said Jameel Zuhod, was sentenced to life imprisonment as he was a minor. The Court of Appeal changed Zuhods sentence from life imprisonment to the death sentence. The four men had been accused of raping and murdering a child, Mayada Khalil Abu Limthi, on 25 September 2003.
Taking these four death sentences into account, a total of ten death sentences have been issued by Palestinian courts since the beginning of 2008. Six of the sentences have been issued in the West Bank, and four in the Gaza Strip. Most of these death sentences have been issued by military courts.
On 24 January, 2008, theMilitary Court
in Gaza sentenced Yasser Said Zanoun (41) to death. On 6 April, theMilitary Court
in Jenin sentenced Thaer Mahmoud Ramailat (23), to death. On 28 April, theHebron Military Court
sentenced Emad Mahmoud Saed (25), to death. On 15 July, theMilitary Court
in Jenin sentenced Wael Said Saed (27), and Mohammed Saed Saed (44), to death. On 20 July, theMilitary Court
in Gaza sentenced thirty five year old Eyad Ahmed Sukkar to death. None of these sentences has yet been carried out.
PCHR is extremely concerned over the continued application of the death penalty in the Palestinian National Authority (PNA), and therefore:
1. Calls upon the PNA to announce an immediate moratorium on the use of this form of punishment, which violates international human rights standards and instruments, especially the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), the Covenant of Civil and Political Rights (1966), and the UN Convention against Torture (1984).
2. Calls upon Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas not to ratify these cruel and inhumane sentences, and to prevent their implementation.
3. Reiterates that abolishing the death penalty does imply leniency towards dangerous criminals, who must be subjected to punishment that acts as a deterrent, but also maintains human dignity.
4. Calls upon the PNA to review all legislation relative to the death penalty, especially Law No. 74 (1936) that remains effective in the Gaza Strip, and the Jordanian Penal Code No. 16 (1960) that remains effective in the West Bank, and to enact a unified penal code that conforms to the spirit of international human rights instruments, especially those pertaining to the abolition of the death penalty.
For more information please call PCHR office in Gaza, Gaza Strip, on +972 8 2824776 – 2825893
PCHR, 29 Omer El Mukhtar St., El Remal, PO Box 1328 Gaza, Gaza Strip. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Webpage http://www.pchrgaza.org
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