Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights on the Death Penalty

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights on the Death Penalty

Article excerpt

IN A SERIOUS VIOLATION of the right to life, the fifth of its kind in recent times, the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) has executed a prisoner in its care in the Gaza Strip. PCHR insists that the PNA immediately place a moratorium on the implementation of the death penalty and completely abolish this cruel and inhuman practice.

At approximately 18.30 on Wednesday, the 27th of July 2005, the PNA executed Rai'id Khalil al Mughrabi, by hanging. The 32-year-old from Jabalya Refugee Camp was executed in Gaza Central Jail (Sariya). He was sentenced to death in 2001, by Gaza Criminal Court, for the 1998 murder of a 35year-old accountant, Khalil Zumlot, also from Jabalya Refugee Camp.

This is the fifth execution carried out by the PNA in 2005.... PCHR is deeply concerned that this execution will lead to further implementation of the death penalty in the future.

Death sentences which have been handed down include sentences issued by the State Security Court, which is a court process which includes summary and secret trials conducted by the military rather than the judiciary. PCHR has consistently called for the abolition of these courts because they lack the minimum international standards for a fair trial. PCHR believes that all sentences issued by the State Security Courts should be repealed and those convicted must be retried in the civil courts without threat of the death penalty. …

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