In a noticeable escalation, the judiciary in Gaza issued a second death sentence in January 2021

In a noticeable escalation, the judiciary in Gaza issued a second death sentence in January 2021, despite Palestine's international commitment to abolish this penalty.

Al-Dameer Association for Human Rights condemns courts of all systematic and military types for issuing death sentences against Palestinian citizens, and calls on the judiciary to stop issuing the penalty and  to comply with international obligations stipulated in international human rights conventions to which Palestine has joined.

Yesterday, Wednesday, January 27, 2021, the Deir Al-Balah Court sentenced the citizen (A.A.) to death by hanging for intentional murder, which is contrary to the articles of the Palestinian law.

This sentence is considered the second one during January 2021, which means that there is a noticeable increase in issuing death sentences, despite Palestine depositing its instrument of accession to the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1989 in June 2018, and that means that Palestine is internationally committed to abolishing this penalty, and issuing it is considered a violation of Palestine’s international obligations.

Addameer affirms that the Palestinian case is witnessing unconstitutional conditions, and a political and judicial division, as well as legal pluralism according to which the death penalty is issued, and that the attempt to justify these judgements, and the executions that were previously carried out, will provide security and safety for the residents of the Gaza Strip, and reduce crime rates. In fact, it is the exact opposite, and it is evidenced by the fact that serious crime rates remained at their level in the Gaza Strip, even at a time when the death penalty was applied, which is comparable to or higher than the rates in the West Bank, that has not applied the death penalty since 2001, and has twice the population.

In addition to that, the experiences of all countries in the world that abolished the death penalty and did not notice any change in crime rates, and even those countries that annually carry out thousands of death sentences did not reduce crime rates. And it is proven by scientific research that crime rates are mainly due to social, economic and cultural conditions and the effectiveness of security systems, and not the severity or leniency of punishment.

Addameer Association re-announces of its rejection of the death penalty, which stems from its belief that this punishment is a clear violation of the right to life, which calls for everyone to unify and intensify their efforts to abolish this punishment in Palestine, and affirms that abolishing the death penalty does not mean tolerance for those convicted of serious crimes, or their impunity, but this rejection is due to its belief that death penalty is useless and does not in any way deters the continuation of crimes. Therefore it :

1. Considers death penalty a violation of the right to life, which is a fundamental and inherent human right that cannot be derogated from even in states of emergency. It is a non-deterrent punishment compared to other penalties.

2. Calls on the judiciary to stop issuing death sentences and to comply with the international obligations stipulated in international human rights conventions which Palestine joined, especially the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1989.

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