On Monday, 16 January 2012, a civil court in Gaza issued a death sentence in absentia against (D. Y. Q.), 27, from the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Hanoun, after convicting him for murdering his brother in 2005. The General Prosecutor charged (D. Y. Q.) with murder in violation of Articles 214, 215 and 216 of the Penal Code of 1936. According to information available to PCHR, this is the second death sentence issued in 2012.

Thus, the total number of death sentences issued by the Palestinian Authority has mounted to 123 sentences since 1994, of which 25 have been issued in the West Bank and 98 in the Gaza Strip. Among those issued in the Gaza Strip, 37 sentences have been issued since 2007.

PCHR is gravely concerned over the continued application of the death penalty in PNA controlled areas, and:

1- Calls for an immediate moratorium on the use of the death penalty as a form of punishment because it violates international human rights standards and instruments, especially the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966), and the UN Convention against Torture (1984);

2- Calls upon Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas not to ratify such cruel and inhuman punishment;

3- Calls for reviewing all legislation related to the death penalty, especially Law No. 74 (1936) which remains in effect in the Gaza Strip, and the Jordanian Penal Code No. 16 (1960) that is in effect in the West Bank, and enacting a unified penal code that is in line with the spirit of international human rights instruments, especially those pertaining to the abolition of the death penalty;

4- Points out that the call for the abolition of the death penalty does not reflect a tolerance for those convicted of serious crimes, but rather a call for utilizing deterrent penalties that maintain our humanity.