Sudan: Woman Sentenced To Death By Stoning For Adultery

Sudan: Woman Sentenced To Death By Stoning For Adultery



Efforts to prevent a young Sudanese woman from being stoned to death after she was convicted of adultery, are being hindered by the absence of government ministers in the country. Sudan has been run by a military junta since a coup one year ago. Campaigners say the 20-year-old didn’t get a fair trial and should be freed. Government


official agreed that the trial was a joke but added: We don’t have a minister who can intervene to demand her release. The young woman, who separated from her husband in 2020 and went to live with her family, was accused of adultery by her husband a year later. She was found guilty in June 2022 by a court in the city of Kosti,



in the Sudan’s White Nile state. Her appeal against the conviction has also now been heard and the court’s judgement is awaited. Sulaima Ishaq, who heads the Violence Against Women Unit at the Ministry of Social Development, told the media that she had been telling officials in the capital, Khartoum, that the trial was



flawed, but that the lack of government ministers made it hard to get her point across. Human rights groups say the woman, whom the media is not naming at the family’s request, was not given access to a lawyer while in custody and was not aware of the charges against her. We have grounds to believe she was illegally forced into



signing a confession by the Police, says that Mossaad Mohamed Ali, executive director of the African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies (ACJPS). The woman’s lawyer, Intisar Abdala, told the BBC she hoped that following the appeal, the court would now “do the right thing” and release her client. Sudan still imposes the



death penalty for some hudud crimes - offences specified by Allah in the Quran, including theft and adultery. In Sudanese law, they carry penalties such as flogging, the amputation of hands and feet, hanging and stoning. A government promise in 2015 to withdraw death by stoning as a form of punishment was never



acted on, human rights groups say. Even the most conservative politicians are against stoning, Sulaima Ishaq said. “But things take a lot of time to change here and then feed through to the courts, and women are the ones who suffer. Hala Al-Karib, regional director for the Strategic Initiative for the Women in the Horn of Africa (Siha), said that the Sudan’s adultery laws were also



disproportionately applied to women. The last person known by campaigners to have been sentenced to death by stoning on an adultery charge was a young woman called Intisar El Sherif Abdalla. She and her four-month-old baby were released in 2012 following a campaign by Siha and Amnesty International. But Ms Al-Karib said there could have been other cases that had gone unnoticed.