In response to the execution today of three men convicted of charges related to the killing of Hamas leader Mazen Fuqaha, Sarah Leah Whitson, executive director of the Middle East division of Human Rights Watch, said:
“Rushing to put men to death based on an unreviewable decision of a special military court days after announcing their arrests and airing videoed confessions smacks of militia rule, not the rule of law. Reliance on confessions, in a system where coercion, torture and deprivation of detainee’s rights are prevalent, and other apparent due process violations further taint the court’s verdicts. Death as government-sanctioned punishment is inherently cruel and always wrong, no matter the circumstance.”
Since it took control of Gaza in 2007, Hamas authorities have carried out 25 executions, most recently in April, and courts in Gaza have sentenced 111 people to death, according to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights.
Human Rights Watch opposes the death penalty in all circumstances, because it is inherently cruel and irreversible.