Time: 10am (+2 GMT)
On Tuesday, 9 July 2019, the court of first instance in Gaza City sentenced to death G.M., a 69-year-old resident of North Gaza district. G.M. is charged with the premeditated murder of Anwar Awad, 52.
At 11:40am on Thursday, 15 February 2018, G.M. shot Awad in the mouth with a live a bullet, instantly killing him and wounded another person.
Documentation by Al Mezan Center for Human Rights shows that this is the second death penalty sentenced in 2019 and the sixteenth since Palestine became a party to the Second Optional Protocol to the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, which provides that the death penalty must be abolished.
Al Mezan condemns the act of murder and all serious crimes. Similarly, Al Mezan denounces the death penalty sentence ruled by the court of first instance in Gaza at a time when competent authorities are obligated to comply with obligations under signed international treaties. There is emerging proof that the death penalty has proven ineffective in preventing or deterring serious crime. It is a form of inhumane punishment. In the meantime, Al Mezan calls for legislation that ensures crime is deterred and individuals indicted with criminal acts are penalized in full consistency with the provisions of the law and the requirements of human dignity.
Al Mezan stresses that the achievement of stability and security is more connected to social and economic conditions and human security than to severity of penalties. Unless the underpinning social and economic problems are alleviated and resolved, the recurrence and frequency of such crimes is not an unexpected possibility.
Al Mezan demands that competent Palestinian authorities ensure the immediate cessation of issuing death sentences, completely abolish the death penalty, and comprehensively review current and applicable laws to ensure compliance with Palestine’s international obligations.