Gaza urged to stop military trial of civilians

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school children streaming out of UNRWA schools

Authorities in Gaza have been urged to stop using military trials and executing civilians.

The appeal has come from the UN human rights office which says it is "seriously concerned" that the military courts are sentencing civilians to death and executing them.

It says that so far this year, six death sentences have been passed, including one that was imposed with a defendant not present in court.

According to Rupert Colville defendants are routinely not granted regular access to their lawyers and military tribunals often rely on confessions made under duress or torture:

"We also note that due to the current intra-Palestinian political division–that's between Gaza and the West Bank—it's not possible for defendants' rights to a fair trial to be fulfilled according to the law. In particular, the Palestinian Basic Law requires that all death sentences should be ratified by the President of the Palestinian Authority and that's not been happening."

Duration: 23″

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