On the morning of Saturday 7 April 2012, the Ministry of the Interior (MoI) in the Gaza Government executed a sentence of death by hanging against three Palestinian citizens in the Gaza Strip.
Two of the condemned were accused of the crimes of kidnapping and murder and the third of treason and involvement in murder.
According to information published by the MoI, among those executed on Saturday was M.
, 20 years old, a resident of the village of An-Nasr in Rafah district.
On Wednesday 29 February 2012 the High Court of Cassation had issued a decision rejecting an appeal by the condemned and upholding the sentence of death by hanging issued by the Khan Younis trial court on 24 November 2010.
The defendant was convicted of kidnapping, homosexual rape, and premeditated murder under Sentencing Law No.
74 of 1936.
Previously, an appeals court had upheld the same judgment in a decision issued on 2 November 2011.
Also among those executed by the MoI on Saturday was M.
, 49 years old.
On 16 February 2012, the Court of Cassation had rejected an appeal by the condemned, who was convicted on 30 May 2010 of commission of the crimes of murder, contrary to Articles 214, 215, and 216 of Sentencing Law No.
74, and of unlawful possession of a dangerous object, contrary to the text of Article 89 of the same law.
A court of appeals affirmed the judgment on 13 July 2011.
The third individual executed was W.
, 26 years old, from Al Bureij camp in the middle of the Gaza Strip.
On 29 March 2011, Gaza’s Permanent Military Court sentenced the defendant to execution by hanging on charges of treason; the judgment was affirmed by Gaza’s High Military Court, acting in its appellate capacity, on the morning of Thursday 2 February 2012.
The accused was convicted on charges of treason and involvement in murder, contrary to the Palestinian Revolutionary Sentencing Law of 1979.
The sentence, which was unanimous, was issued publicly.
The Al Mezan Center for Human Rights notes that, following the execution of the three condemned on Saturday, the number of those sentenced to death who have actually been executed reaches 24, while the total number sentenced to death since the establishment of the Palestinian Authority is 114, 99 of whom were sentenced in Gaza.
12 of those condemned were killed outside the scope of implementation of the death penalty, nine of these in Gaza.
Among those executed under legal procedures, 22 of the sentences were carried out in Gaza.
Al Mezan expresses its deep concern over the continued implementation of the death penalty without respect for its legal foundations, which forbid execution of a death sentence absent the affirmation of the president of the Palestinian Authority.
Al Mezan reiterates its opposition to the death penalty on principle, while emphasizing that in any case its application must be within the most narrow scope and in response to the most grave of crimes, and on condition that the accused receive fair trial with all means of legal defense at their disposal.
Al Mezan likewise reaffirms its established position on the necessity of punishment of those sentenced for those crimes they have committed, and on the need to ensure that criminals do not escape justice in accordance with a full process of law.