Document - Palestinian Authority: Further information: Juvenile offender executed in Gaza: Hani Abu Alian

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Further information on UA: 214/13 Index: MDE 21/007/2013 Palestinian Authority Date: 11 October 2013

URGENT ACTION

juvenile offender executed in gaza

The Hamas de facto administration executed Hani Abu Alian on 2 October at the Jawazat police compound in Gaza City, despite serious concerns about the fairness of his trial, including allegations he was tortured to “confess”. He was under 18 at the time of one of his alleged crimes. Another man known only as “A.Z.G.” could be executed at any time.

Hani Abu Alian (previously referred to as “H.M.A.”) was sentenced to death in 2012 for two murders and the rape of a child. One of the lawyers working on his case described his hanging as “a legal, moral, political, and religious crisis. When a government executes so many people, and without regard for the law, it means the country is rotten.” Hani Abu Alian is the third person to be executed in Gaza this year. He was 28 years old.

In another case, the Court of Cassation upheld the death sentence for murder on 26 September 2013 against A.Z.G., aged 35 years and from al-Shati’ refugee camp. His original death sentence had been imposed in February 2010 by the Court of First Instance, and was then upheld by the Court of Appeal on 15 December 2012.

In yet another case, the final appeal against the execution of a 23-year-old known as “F.A.” is proceeding before the Military High Court. F.A. was sentenced to death for “collaboration with an enemy entity" by the Central Military Court in Gaza City on 24 March 2013. His lawyer told Amnesty International that F.A. claims to have been hung by his wrists and ankles and beaten during interrogation in order to force a “confession”. Under international standards, military jurisdictions should never have the power to impose death sentences.

Please write immediately in Arabic, English or your own language:

Condemning the execution of Hani Abu Alian, emphasizing that sentencing juvenile offenders to death is a breach of Palestinian and international law and that his sentence was imposed despite allegations that his confession was forced;

Urging the authorities not to execute A.Z.G., F.A., or anyone else sentenced to death in Gaza, and to ensure that trials for capital crimes comply with all internationally recognized standards on the use of the death penalty;

Calling on them to immediately commute all death sentences and to impose a moratorium on executions;

Expressing concern at the allegations of torture against Hani Abu Alian and F.A. and urging them to carry out prompt, independent and impartial investigations into the claims, bringing anyone found to be responsible to justice in proceedings which meet international standards for fair trial.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 22 NOVEMBER 2013 TO:

Minister of Interior and National Security

[Hamas administration in Gaza]

Fathi Hamad

Fax: +972 8 288 1994 / 970 8 288 1994

Send faxes before 2pm Palestine time (GMT+2)

Email: info@moi.gov.ps

Salutation: Your Excellency

Attorney General

[Hamas administration in Gaza]

Isma’il Jaber

Fax: +972 8 288 6885

Send faxes before 2pm Palestine time (GMT+2)

Email: neiaba.gaza@gmail.com

media@gp.gov.ps

Salutation: Dear Attorney General

Prime Minister

[Hamas administration in Gaza]

Isma’il Abd al-Salam Ahmad Haniyeh

Fax: +972 8 264 1150

Send faxes before 2pm Palestine time (GMT+2)

Salutation: Your Excellency

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country.

Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date. This is the first update of UA 214/13. Further information: http://amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE21/003/2013/en

URGENT ACTION

juvenile offender executed in gaza

ADditional Information

In May 2010 Hani Abu Alian was convicted by the Khan Younis Court of First Instance in two separate cases: he was sentenced to life imprisonment for the “unintentional homicide” of a friend in 2009 and, in a second case, to life imprisonment plus 14 years for the killing and rape of a six-year-old child in 2000, at which time he was 14 years old. His lawyer argued that his “confession” to the latter crime was inadmissible since he was beaten during interrogation, but this complaint was dismissed. The prosecution appealed against these prison sentences and in September 2012 the Appeal Court upgraded the charges to murder in both cases and increased the life sentences to the death penalty, a decision upheld by the Court of Cassation on 14 July. Under Palestinian law, a killing committed when the perpetrator is under 18 years of age does not carry the death sentence. Despite several announcements this year by Hamas indicating that they would execute “criminals” publicly, Hani Abu Alian’s execution was carried out in the presence of relatives of one of the victims as well as prominent members of the religious and political community. It did not appear to be open to the general public.

Amnesty International continues to have grave concerns about the widespread use of torture and other ill-treatment in the Gaza Strip under the Hamas de facto administration, including against those sentenced to death. During 2012, the Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR) said it received 134 allegations of torture by the Internal Security and police in Gaza, and dozens of additional allegations of cruel and inhuman treatment and physical or verbal abuse.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) has jurisdiction over the Gaza Strip and parts of the West Bank, which make up the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), all of which are under Israeli military occupation. However, intra-Palestinian factional violence and tensions between Fatah and Hamas, the Palestinian party which won the last parliamentary elections in 2006, have resulted in the West Bank being governed by a caretaker government appointed by PA President Mahmoud Abbas and, since June 2007, Gaza being governed by the Hamas de facto administration led by Isma’il Haniyeh. After Hamas took over control of Gaza, PA President Mahmoud Abbas suspended the operations of PA security forces and judicial institutions in Gaza, creating a legal and institutional vacuum. Hamas responded by creating parallel law-enforcement and judicial apparatuses. These do not have appropriately trained staff, accountability mechanisms or safeguards.

Under Palestinian law, all death sentences must be ratified by PA President Mahmoud Abbas before they can be carried out. However, the Hamas de facto administration has been carrying out executions since 2010 without obtaining the President's approval. The Hamas Ministry of Interior justifies the use of the death penalty by saying that it has a duty to protect society and enforce law and order. Many of the death sentences are imposed by military courts, under the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Revolutionary Code 1979, the procedures of which do not meet international standards for fair trial.

According to local human rights NGOs, at least 42 prisoners are held under sentence of death in Gaza. Between 2006 and 2009, no executions were carried out in Gaza but since then, according to local NGOs, the Hamas de facto administration in Gaza has executed at least 17 people, eight of whom were convicted in relation to “collaboration” with the Israeli authorities and nine of murder. No executions have taken place in the West Bank since PA President Abbas took office in 2005.

Amnesty International acknowledges the right and responsibility of governments to bring to justice those suspected of criminal offences but notes there has never been any convincing evidence that the death penalty is a more effective deterrent than any other form of punishment. Amnesty International opposes the death penalty – the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment – in all cases as a violation of the right to life and the right not to be tortured or subjected to any other cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment.

Name Hani Abu Alian, F.A., A.Z.G.

Gender m/f: m

Further information on UA: 214/13 Index: MDE 21/007/2013 Issue Date: 11 October 2013

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