07 July 2005 :the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), René van der Linden, strongly condemned the June 12 execution of four convicted murderers by the Palestinian Authority.
“Death is not justice and will never be,” he said. “The death penalty will not help to curb violence. In a long process of sharing our experience, we have succeeded in making the territory of our 46 member states a de facto death-penalty-free zone. Our ambition is now to extend it beyond the European continent,” the PACE President stressed. He said these executions would cast a shadow over relations between PACE and the Palestinian authorities. He urged Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to do everything in his power to make sure the practice of executions was banished. He called on the Palestinian authorities to do their utmost to ensure that the principles of human rights, democracy and the rule of law, which were the hallmarks of civilised society in general and of the Council of Europe in particular, were observed.