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Palestine cracks down on torture, seeks sentencing options

After joining international conventions and treaties, Palestinian authorities are developing new means of preventing torture, while Gaza Strip lawmakers are about to pass a law providing for alternatives to prison for lesser offenses.
A drug addict stands behind bars at a Hamas-run prison in Gaza City March 1, 2017. Picture taken March 1, 2017. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem - RC194B69E2F0

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Palestine is expected to pass a law establishing its national protocol for preventing torture at the beginning of 2019.

On Sept. 19, the Ministry of the Interior in Ramallah, the West Bank, met with several human rights and civil society organizations and the Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR) to discuss establishment of the National Preventive Mechanism (NPM). Developing this mechanism is one of Palestine’s obligations after President Mahmoud Abbas signed in March the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture (OPCAT).

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