U.N. Rights Office To Hamas: Stop Illegal Executions

A spokesman for the U.N. High Commissioner on Human Rights Navi Pillay said three executions recently carried out by Hamas’s government in the Gaza Strip were illegal because the men did not have access to lawyers, were civilians tried in military courts, and the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority didn’t sign off on the executions as required. The office urged Hamas to halt a planned firing squad in another case. Human Rights Watch has said Hamas “should focus on reforming its justice system.” Israeli human rights group B’Tselem said 32 death sentences have been meted out and 10 executions carried out in Hamas-controlled Gaza since the group seized power. The Palestinian Authority-controlled West Bank has an effective moratorium on executions since President Mahmood Abbas has not signed off on any. (HT: Hussein Ibish)