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Foreign ministry condemns Gaza executions

Switzerland has strongly condemned the execution of two Palestinians in the Gaza Strip for alleged collaboration with Israel.

A foreign ministry statement issued on Friday called on the Gazan authorities “to rescind any other death sentences immediately, and to refrain from further recourse to the death penalty”.

The foreign ministry said all accused persons should be subject to investigation and trial that respects international standards.

“The universal abolition of the death penalty is one of Switzerland’s top priorities. For this reason it enjoins the Palestinian authorities to abolish the death penalty or at the very least, in a first step, to declare an immediate moratorium,” the statement concluded.

The two men were executed by firing squad on Thursday, having been convicted of treason and spying for Israel during its invasion of Gaza at the end of 2008.

The head of the UN Human Rights Commission, Navi Pillay, condemned the killings and expressed alarm at reports that the Hamas movement, which controls Gaza, plans further executions. A number of international human rights groups have also spoken out strongly against the move.

The Gaza-based Independent Commission for Human Rights reported earlier this month that there were 11 men on death row in Gaza, six convicted of murder, and five of spying for Israel.

swissinfo.ch and agencies


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