Responding to reports that Hamas authorities in the Gaza Strip will tomorrow execute three men accused of killing senior Hamas commander Mazen Faqha on 24 March, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa Magdalena Mughrabi said:
“The three men scheduled to be hanged or shot in Gaza tomorrow were tried in a court that utterly disregarded international fair trial standards. If carried out, these cruel executions will constitute an appalling breach of international human rights law.
“It is not too late to save these men’s lives. We are urging the Hamas authorities to immediately halt these executions and ensure that the men are given a fair retrial. The death penalty is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment which should never be used in any circumstances.”
Mazen Faqha, a commander in Hamas’ military wing, was shot in the head and chest at the entrance of his Gaza City home on 24 March.
Hamas formed a military court that sentenced the three men to death under the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Revolutionary Code which does not comply with Palestinian Basic Law of 2003. The three men were sentenced to death on 21 May in a trial that lasted one week and consisted of four brief sessions only.
Palestinian law provides that the President must approve death sentences before they are implemented. However, since 2010, the Hamas de facto administration has been carrying out executions without obtaining the President’s approval.