Sudan: Woman Faces Death By Stoning For Adultery

Sudan: Woman Faces Death By Stoning For Adultery
📷 The brutality of death by stoning, in which women are buried up to their necks in front of a crowd of volunteers and slain in a hail of rocks, is brought to light by an Iranian woman at a protest in Brussels. Photo by Reuters/Thierry Roge
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A woman in Sudan has been sentenced to death by stoning for adultery, the country’s first known case in nearly a decade.

Last month, police arrested Maryam Alsyed Tiyrab, 20, in Sudan’s White Nile state.

Tiyrab has stated that she will appeal the decision. The majority of stoning sentences, primarily against women, are overturned by the High Court.

Campaigners are concerned that the sentence signals that the military coup in October has emboldened lawmakers to roll back the country’s transitional government’s gains for women’s rights.

The African Center for Justice and Peace Studies (ACJPS), based in Uganda, said Tiyrab’s sentence was illegal under both domestic and international law and demanded his “immediate and unconditional release.”

According to the center, the woman did not receive a fair trial and was not informed that the information she provided during interrogation would be used against her. The report states, Tiyrab was also denied legal representation.

The application of the death penalty by stoning for the crime of adultery is a grave violation of international law, including the right to life and the prohibition of torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. <span class="su-quote-cite">The centre</span>

Sudan’s transitional government, which took over after Omar al-Bashir was deposed, announced reforms to some of its harsh criminal laws and Sharia policies in 2020. The reforms did not include stoning, but the country did ratify the UN Convention Against Torture in August. According to the ACJPS, stoning is a form of state-sanctioned torture that violates the country’s human rights obligations.

Human rights lawyer Jehanne Henry said the sentence “shows that harsh Sharia laws [and] penalties are still being implemented in Sudan.”

The death by stoning case serves as a reminder that the criminal law reforms implemented during the transition [government] were insufficient, and that such harsh, archaic punishments remain officially on the books. <span class="su-quote-cite">Jehanne Henry, Human Rights Lawyer</span>

Flogging, which was made illegal in 2020, is still used as a punishment by the courts. The last known case of a woman sentenced to stoning for adultery occurred in the state of South Kordofan in 2013. The sentence was reversed.


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