Hamas Must End the Death Penalty

Originally posted at Human Rights Now (Amnesty International USA blog)

By Sanjeev Bery

June 15, 2012

Trapped between a crushing Israeli blockade and human rights violations at home, the 1.6 million Palestinian residents of the Gaza Strip face many challenges in their daily lives.  In our 2012 Annual Report, Amnesty International catalogues the list, from a humanitarian crisis created by the Israeli blockade to detention and torture by Hamas security forces.

Meanwhile, Palestinian armed groups have used the Gaza Strip to fire indiscriminate rockets and mortars into southern Israel.  Daniel Viflic, aged 16, died in 2011 after a school bus in which he was travelling was struck by a missile fired from Gaza.

The latest news is that four Gaza Palestinians are facing execution after being given the death penalty by Hamas military and criminal courts.  There are reports that at least one of the four “confessed” to the crime of murder after being tortured.  The family of Na’el Jamal Qandil Doghmosh has stated that when they saw him after two months in prison, his nails had been torn out and there were burns and bruises on his body.

The Hamas de facto administration in the Gaza Strip has repeatedly sentenced people to death via military and criminal courts.   The Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority in the West Bank has also handed down the death sentence, though much less frequently.

You can help stand up for human rights in Gaza by telling Hamas authorities not to carry out the death sentence faced by Doghmosh and the three other Palestinian men.  Amnesty International is opposed to the death penalty in all cases because it is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment.

You can also tell Hamas that you are deeply concerned about the allegations of torture surrounding Doghmosh’s imprisonment and subsequent “confession.” By doing so, you will let Hamas authorities know that there is a global community of human rights activists ready to take action to defend human rights in the Gaza Strip.

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