U.N.: Hamas Must Halt Prisoner Executions in Gaza

YERUSHALAYIM -

Hamas must halt all executions in Gaza because they are imposed without fair trial, the U.N.’s top human rights official said yesterday.

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said the Gaza authorities must follow international human rights law when seeking to impose the death penalty.

“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,” Pillay said in a statement.

She also has concerns about alleged ill treatment and torture during interrogations of people who were later sentenced to death.

Hamas Attorney General Ismail Jaber told The Associated Press that the death penalty is imposed only against criminals or spies “after all legal proceedings against them are exhausted.”

The last such executions in Gaza occurred in June, when the Hamas interior ministry said that two men whom it accuses of spying for Israel were executed by hanging, in Gaza’s central jail.