Member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, strongly denounced the Hamas decision to execute 13 convicted Palestinians, and called on the Palestinian President and the government, to completely abolish capital punishment.
She said that the approval made by Hamas legislators in Gaza, authorizing executions ordered by Gaza courts, without the final approval from President Mahmoud Abbas, are illegal and unconstitutional.
The legislator added that, under Article 109 of the Basic Palestinian Law, only the president authorizes the execution of convicted persons, and also stated that the Death Penalty was unnatural and must be abolished.
“Statements made by various officials in the Gaza Strip, clearly indicating the intention to carry out public executions, in the near future, are very troubling and should be of great concern, “she said, “Capital punishment is a rejected practice, legally and on the humanitarian level –- parading the convicted person, and executing them in public, is also a direct violation of the sanctity of human life.”
“The only deterrent to crime comes through applying the law, ensuring its fair application through impartial courts,” the official said, “Everybody should be equal under the law, and we need to address and resolve the causes of crime, and establish rehabilitation centers.”
She also urged President Abbas to seriously and effectively act on abolishing Capital Punishment, and to adopt the New Palestinian Penalty Law, that was prepared and forwarded by a group of senior intellectuals, human rights organizations, civil societies, government ministries, and carious other sectors of the Palestinian society.
In addition, Ashrawi urged Hamas to stop all illegal measures and decisions, adding that capital punishment violates basic principles of human rights, in addition to various international agreements and treaties.
“Israel uses capital punishment in Palestine in order to criminalize the Palestinian people, and their legitimate resistance,” she stated, “Executions also cause further internal divisions and increase tension.”
The official stated that Palestine signed, and is committed to, various international treaties, and that all of these agreements oppose, and prohibit, capital punishment.