UN tells Hamas to halt post-Eid executions in Gaza

United Nations human rights chief Navi Pillay urges the Gaza Strip's governors to halt a string of executions planned for after the end of Eid Al Fitr.

GENEVA // United Nations human rights chief Navi Pillay yesterday urged the Gaza Strip's Islamist governors Hamas to halt a string of executions planned after the end of the Eid Al Fitr holiday.

"I am deeply concerned at the possibility that executions might be carried out over the course of the next weeks in Gaza and urgently appeal to the de facto authorities there not to implement any death sentences," Pillay said in a statement.

Eid Al Fitr ended on Sunday.

During Ramadan itself, Hamas authorities had said that executions would take place after the holiday but have given no specific date.

Pillay described the judicial process in Gaza as deeply flawed.

"I am concerned about the process by which death sentences are imposed by military and civilian courts in the Gaza Strip," she said.

"Serious concerns have also been raised about ill-treatment and torture during interrogations of persons later sentenced to death."

Pillay said international human rights law requires rigorous fair trial standards in cases where death sentences are applied.

"One absolute requirement is that the death penalty can only be imposed after a fair trial. This is currently not possible in Gaza, neither legally nor practically," she said.

Published: August 15, 2013 04:00 AM

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