Sudanese woman imprisoned for kissing a man
A Sudanese woman convicted of adultery has had her life sentence reduced to six months in prison after admitting to kissing a man. The 20-year-old was condemned to death by stoning at first, causing a worldwide outrage.
The initial penalty was described as a “serious violation of international law” by the African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies (ACJPS). The woman was sentenced to death after a court in Sudan’s White Nile state judged her guilty of adultery.
Following international outrage, the case was retried by the White Nile state court. Finally, the presiding judge modified the accusation from “adultery” to “obscene behaviour,” which meant she would instead serve time in prison.
In court, she admitted to being with a man and confessed to kissing him.
Her lawyer, Intisar Abdullah, said the judge “didn’t have many options but to convict her”.
“The thing is she confessed at the court that she was with a man, she is very young and she doesn’t know the complications of the case,” the lawyertold the BBC.
The woman had been released on bail but has now been taken to prison to begin her term.
According to the ACJPS, she was not allowed to have a counsel in the initial hearing, and procedural flaws resulted in the stoning penalty being reversed.
Sudan still maintains the death sentence for several hudud offences, which include theft and adultery, as mandated by Allah in the Quran. They are punishable by flogging, amputation of hands and feet, hanging, and stoning under Sudanese law.
The majority of stoning sentences in Sudan, mostly against women, have been overturned by the Supreme Court.
Previously, a government minister called the sentence a “joke,” but agreed that no official could intervene.
Sudan has been ruled by a military junta since a coup in 2021.
Featured Image is retrieved from Committee For Justice