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From the field

Stop the Death Penalty

B'Tselem Calls on Arafat to Stop the Death Penalty

In a letter to the Chairman of the Palestinian Authority, Yassir Arafat, B'Tselem requested him to prevent the execution of the Palestinian police officer charged with murdering a youth last October.

In his letter, B'Tselem's executive director, Eitan Felner, noted that B'Tselem is aware of the Palestinian Authority's duty to punish offenders, particularly those within the PA's security forces. However, B'Tselem is concerned about the effect of public pressure on the courts, as was the case in last week's execution of a defendant on the charge of "Influencing the public against the Palestinian National Authority." Three Palestinians have already been executed on similar charges.

B'Tselem emphasizes that the death penalty is a blatant violation of he most fundamental human right - the right to life - and urges Arafat to grant a pardon in the event that the court imposes the death sentence on the police officer.

B'Tselem also urges Arafat to use his influence to revoke the death penalty.