Despite repetitive calls of the Independent Commission for Human Rights and other human rights organizations, calling for the immediate cessation of issuing death penalties or implementing them by the Palestinian Authority against Palestinian citizens, the military Court in Jenin today, Monday, October 2011, handed down a death penalty ruling. The ruling was handed down to Waheed Atta Jamil Yassin, 23, from the village of Deir Abu D’eif, for murder, in accordance with the provisions of the Palestinian Revolutionary Penal Code of 1979.
This ruling coincides with the occasion of the International Day against the Death Penalty, an event that is considered a global occasion to try to stop capital punishment and celebrate those who have abolished the death penalty. Many countries from around the world have committed to stop this cruel sentence, or temporarily halt of its implementation, in an advanced step towards actual and complete abolition.
ICHR considers the issuance of this ruling as a setback in the efforts towards the abolition of the death penalty and constitutes a violation of human rights principles. ICHR also confirms that this verdict indicates the continuation of the issuance and implementation of the capital punishment by the Palestinian National Authority, which the ICHR had long called for its halt, as it represents an assault on the right to life, which is guaranteed by international human rights treaties and conventions.
ICHR stresses the need to apply punishment on offenders, and does not diminish in any way the gravity of the crime attributed to the accused, at the same time, the ICHR reiterates its demands as the following:
1. Demanding the President of the Palestinian National Authority not to ratify this death sentence, but rather, substituting it with another appropriate penalty.
2. Stop issuing death sentences in the future, in line with the efforts of the international community towards the abolition of this punishment, and replacing it with another appropriate penalty that achieves justice context of criminal and humanitarian contexts.
3. Immediate cessation of capital punishment, pending a comprehensive review of relative laws and national legislation in force in Palestine.