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UN condemns Hamas execution of five Palestinians

Illustrative: A gallows is prepared for an execution in Gaza in 2013. (AP/ Gaza Interior Ministry/ File)
Illustrative: A gallows is prepared for an execution in Gaza in 2013. (AP/ Gaza Interior Ministry/ File)

The United Nations condemns the execution of five Palestinians by Hamas in the Gaza Strip, saying it was in “stark violation” of Palestinian law.

Hamas announced yesterday that it had carried out the executions: two for “collaboration” with Israel and three for murder.

“We condemn the execution of five prisoners in Gaza and urge the de facto authorities in Gaza to establish a moratorium on all executions,” says UN Human Rights Office spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani. “We call on the State of Palestine to take robust measures to abolish the death penalty in all its territory.”

The executions were “in stark violation of the State of Palestine’s own domestic law and its obligations under international law,” the spokeswoman says.

She says there are serious concerns that criminal proceedings resulting in death sentences in Gaza do not meet international fair trial standards.

“The approval of the president of Palestine was not secured, as required by national law, nor were there opportunities for the executed prisoners to seek clemency or a pardon,” says Shamdasani.

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