Human rights group condemns Palestinian court death sentence
The Gaza-based Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) condemned Thursday a Palestinian military court's order sentencing a West Bank resident to death for treason and selling property to Israelis, dpa reported.
In a statement, the centre urged Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas not to authorize the death sentence, which it described as "unconstitutional," and said it "violates international human rights conventions."
A three-judge panel in a Hebron military court on Tuesday sentenced a 59-year-old Palestinian from the village of Beit Ummar, north of the southern West Bank city, to death after it found him guilty of treason and of selling property to Israelis.
The court passed the death sentence by hanging based on old Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Jordanian laws from the 1970s and 1950s, rather than on Palestinian Authority (PA) laws.
The PCHR said PLO laws are unconstitutional in PA areas since they were not ratified by the Palestinian Legislative Council, the highest legislative authority in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
It also said that the centre has always called for not using PLO laws because they "contradict with international standards for a fair trial particularly because they do not allow for an appeal."
The Hebron court said its decision was final and that the convicted person could not appeal his sentence. It said the order was sent to President Abbas to sign it before it could carried out.
The PCHR said that "while it takes very seriously the use of these laws in PA areas," it calls on the PA to stop using these laws and also calls on Abbas not to approve "this cruel and inhuman" decision.
The Hebron court has passed a similar death sentence for reasons of treason last year and a military court in the West Bank city of Jenin had also passed three similar sentences. Four other similar cases received death sentence on the same charges in the Gaza Strip since last year.
However, none of the sentences have been carried out.