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Sudan woman faces stoning for adultery

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A Sudanese woman was found guilty of adultery by a criminal court in Kosti in White Nile State, southern Sudan, in late June 2022. The sentence has not yet been approved by the High Court, according to an NGO African who alerted to the fate of Maryam Alsyed Tiyrab, a 20-year-old young woman. For the African Center for Justice and Peace (ACJPS)the conviction constitutes a clear violation of national and international law.

In August 2021, Sudan ratified the convention against torture. Therefore, execution by stoning which is a form of torture is a violation of Sudan’s human rights obligations.

Communiqué of the African Center for Justice and Peace (ACJPS)

Separated from her husband, Maryam Alsyed Tiyrab had returned to live with her parents. But last June, she was arrested and questioned by a police investigator. Without any official complaint, she is summoned to court and tried for adultery. The Sudanese Penal Code, based on Islamic law (Sharia), provides for stoning.

ACJPS, which works to promote respect for human rights and legal reform in Sudan, calls on the Sudanese authorities to quash the conviction and guarantee the immediate release of Maryam Alsyed Tiyrab.

The trial is, according to her, marred by irregularities. The young defendant did not have the right to a lawyer and did not really understand what was happening to her. The NGO emphasizes above all that most adultery judgments in Sudan concern women.

This is not the first time that a woman has been stigmatized or judged in this kind of case. In 2012, another 20-year-old Sudanese 20 years old, had been sentenced to death by stoning for adultery which she confessed to under torture. The sentence was not applied.

Maryam Alsyed Tiyrab should also escape stoning. The sentence has not yet been approved by the High Court and is unlikely to be. But this case reminds us of the need to abolish archaic laws providing for stoning, flogging or amputation, as provided for in Islamic “hudoud” punishments. Punishments that sanction adultery, murder or theft.

In 2020, the transitional government announced the abolition of discriminatory laws in force under Omar al-Bashir, as part of the country’s democratization process. Stoning was not one of them.

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