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Calling the Sudanese Government to overturn sentence of death by stoning and protect women's rights

A Sudanese woman was sentenced to death by stoning. We call on relevant UN Special Procedures, mandate holders and the OHCHR to take action to urge Sudanese authorities to overturn this sentence, end violations of the international human rights law, and respect the State obligations to protect women and human rights.

Mariam Tirab, a 20 year old woman from Sudan was sentenced to death by stoning on 27 June 2022. She was found guilty by a judge in Kosty, in the White Nile state for violating Article 146(2) on adultery. The young woman was arrested in 2021, when a police officer interrogated her without informing her that her confession will be used against her in court. She has been tried without access to legal representation and was not informed about the charges and the penalty of the crime of adultery (Zina) in Sudanese laws. She was denied her constitutional and legal rights under the Sudanese laws.

Article 146 of the Sudanese criminal law is built on the Sharia laws, where married women charged with adultery are sentenced to death by stoning, while unmarried women are punished by 100 lashes. Despite the legal reforms of 2020, wherein the transitional government banned corporal punishments, the Sharia laws related to adultery remain unchanged.

 Mariam Tirab was sentenced, despite not being granted access to proper legal aid or provided with basic information about her rights. Her confession was obtained by police through illegal procedures.

The legal procedures and the justice system is failing women in Sudan, denying many access to the basic right to a fair trial. A group of lawyers and women’s rights organisations has started an appeal of the case to a higher court.

In the last 10 years, Sudan has witnessed several cases similar to Mariam’s where the sentences were overturned on appeal. Under the current military regime, the justice system in Sudan is at its worst, as unfair and politicised trials have become the norm. The lack of a civilian government in the country for almost a year is increasing challenges for local women human rights defenders, and human rights groups are exerting pressure on the military regime to reform the justice system.

Since the 25 October 2021 military coup, systemic violence against women has increased across the country. The return of fundamental Islamic leaders to the political scene in support of the military has led to an increase in the oppression of women’s rights. The police force under the Public Order Laws was recreated under a new name – “social police”, which is considered a major setback for women’s rights in Sudan. Women and girls are constantly being scrutinised for what they wear and how they appear in public.  University officials have imposed dress codes and prevented some female students from entering the gates without a scarf. The former regime imposed the hijab in Sudan for three decades prior to the revolution in 2018. Within one year of the military coup, women in Sudan are living under the same oppressive system once again. The military leaders are closing public spaces and using repressive laws to crush the resistance movement led by women.

A visit to Mariam Tirab in prison was prevented by a judge recently. She is detained in Kosty city of the White Nile state under inhumane prison conditions. Women’s rights and human rights groups started a campaign and organised protests calling for her release and for legal reforms that respect women’s rights.

We, the undersigned groups and individuals, call on the Sudanese authorities to:

  1. Overturn the sentence against Mariam Tirab and grant her the right to a fair trial and access to lawyers and visits while in detention.
  2. Abide by and respect their obligations to international laws as a State party to the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights and the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UNCAT). 

We call on relevant UN Special Procedures, mandate holders and the OHCHR to take action to urge Sudanese authorities to overturn this sentence, end violations of the international human rights law, and respect the State obligations to protect women and human rights.

 

Signatories:

AWID ( Association of Women in Development)

CIVICUS

Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies

Global Fund for Women

International Service for Human Rights (ISHR)

Women Living Under Muslim Laws

WHRDMENA Coalition

Canadian Federation of University Women 

Collectif genevois de la Grève féministe

CONCERNED NIGERIANS

Sisters Trust

Nora organization for compacting violence against women’s and girls

Alharisat organization

Sudanese Women Rights Action

Urgent Action Fund-Africa

İnsan Hakları Derneği (İHD)/Human Rights Association

Hafidha Chekir, FIDH/Tunis

Taha Metwally/ANKH Association

Arefe Elyasi /Open Stadiums

Nedal Alsalman /BCHR

Razan Nour/ Innovation for Change Middle East and North Africa

Sawsan Salim/ KMEWO

Rajaa ahlafi /Adala association for the right to a fair trial

Onaheed Ahmed /Sudanese Front For Change

Nizam Assaf/Amman Center for Human Rights Studies

Ahmed Mefreh/Committee for Justice

Cecilie Olivia Buchhave/KVINFO

Connie Carøe Christiansen/KVINFO

Vanessa Mendoza cortés/ Associació Stop violències Andorra

Sama Aweidah/Women’s Studies Centre

Meriam Mastour/Les Foulards Violets

Zohra Triki/Doustourna

Sofie Birk/KVINFO

Marieme helie lucas/ Secularism Is A Women’s issue (siawi.org)

Mémoire et citoyenneté

Equality Now

Hagir Omer, Madania

Mashair Saeed/WHRD

Mamoun Elgizouli

Sara Abdelgalil/WHRD

Jihad Mashamoun/Researcher

Sally Armstrong/ Journalist

Ibrahim  Bella

Ammar Abbas

Sara López/WLUML

Anniesa Hussain/WLUML

Yussef Robinson/ SDfHR

Elie Losleben

Abramovich Fabienne/Collectif féministe

Stéphanie Friedli/Collectif genevois de la Grève féministe

Aude Spang/Collectif genevois de la Grève féministe / Syndicat Unia

Francoise Nyffeler / Collectif de la Greve Feministe

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