Condemn Execution of Juvenile Offender in Gaza

Target: Fathi Hamad, Minister of Interior and National Security, Hamas Administration in Gaza

Goal: Speak out against the execution of a juvenile offender and urge authorities to forego the death penalty entirely

Hani Abu Alian, formerly known as “H.M.A.,” was recently executed by the Hamas administration for two murders and the rape of a child, despite the fact that his trial was denounced as unfair, he was allegedly tortured into confessing, and he was only fourteen at the time of two of the crimes. Sign the petition and denounce the execution of Hani Abu Alian, and urge the Hamas administration to immediately impose a moratorium on all death penalties in Gaza.

The political upheaval in Gaza produced a power vacuum that the Hamas administration attempted to fill with “parallel law-enforcement and judicial apparatuses,” Amnesty International reports. However, the new state agencies “do not have appropriately trained staff, accountability mechanisms or safeguards.” This has led to controversy over issues like the death penalty. Under Palestinian law, the president must approve all executions. The Hamas administration has been carrying out capital punishments without the approval of the Palestinian Authority (PA) president, Mahmoud Abbas, for the past three years. At least seventeen people have been executed.

Hani Abu Alian’s lawyer called his execution “a legal, moral, political, and religious crisis.” The same might be said about the impending executions of two other prisoners, known only as A.Z.G. and F.A. A.Z.G.’s murder sentence was handed down in 2010 and upheld by an appeals court in 2012. F.A.’s trial is proceeding before the Military High Court, despite his claims that he was hung by his wrists and ankles and beaten in order to produce a confession. Furthermore, under international standards military jurisdictions do not have the power to impose capital punishments, Amnesty says.

All human beings, no matter what their crimes, have the right to fair trials, freedom from torture, and, above all, life. Sign the petition and condemn the execution of Hani Abu Alian, urge the authorities to commute all other death sentences into life imprisonment, and demand that allegations of torture and ill-treatment be immediately and impartially investigated.

PETITION LETTER:

Your Excellency,

The recent execution of Hani Abu Alian is a black mark on the Hamas Administration’s already-dismal human rights record, and the impending executions of A.Z.G. and F.A. threaten to further blacken the administration’s reputation. I urge you to immediately commute the sentences of A.Z.G., F.A., and all other death-row inmates into life sentences, and to immediately and impartially investigate allegations of torture and ill-treatment and bring those responsible to justice.

Hani Abu Alian was convicted of two murders and the rape of a child. While these are undoubtedly heinous crimes, Hani Abu Alian was only fourteen when he allegedly committed two of the acts. His execution therefore violates the prohibition against capital punishment for juvenile offenders. He also claimed to have been tortured in order to illicit a confession for the crimes.

F.A. has also accused his interrogators of torture, claiming that he was hung by the wrists and ankles and beaten in order to provoke his “confession.” He is being tried before the Military High Court, which makes his possible execution illegal: Amnesty International reports that “[u]nder international standards, military jurisdictions should never have the power to impose death sentences.”

Perhaps most unsettlingly, the Hamas administration has been carrying out capital punishments without the approval of the Palestinian Authority (PA) president, Mahmoud Abbas, for the past three years, resulting in the executions of at least seventeen people. Under Palestinian law, the PA president must approve all executions.

Clearly there has been a gross miscarriage of justice in the handling of these three cases. It is too late for Hani Abu Alian, but there is still time to ensure that A.Z.G. and F.A.’s human rights are respected. I urge you to immediately commute their death sentences to life imprisonment, and I demand a full investigation into any allegations of torture or ill-treatment. Those found responsible must be brought to justice via a process that is internationally-recognized as fair and impartial.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

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