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Sudanese woman condemned to death by stoning for alleged adultery

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Alison Clarke
WVoN co-editor 

A young Sudanese woman has been convicted of adultery and sentenced to death by stoning.

Amnesty International (which is asking people to send a letter to the Sudanese president) reported that Intisar Sharif Abdallah was handed the sentence by the criminal court of Ombada, Khartoum state, central Sudan on 13 May.

She had initially pleaded not guilty, but admitted to the charges at a later hearing after she was reportedly beaten by her brother. The conviction was based solely on this testimony.

Abdallah – who is thought to be under 18 – was sentenced under article 146 of Sudan’s Criminal Act of 1991, which provides that the penalty for adultery by a married person is execution by stoning, and the penalty for an unmarried person is 100 lashes.

Since her sentencing, she has been held in Omdurman prison with her five-month-old baby, with her legs shackled.

“No one should be stoned to death – and imposing this punishment on someone who may be a child is especially shocking,” said Daniel Bekele, Africa director at Human Rights Watch.

“Sudan should immediately reform discriminatory laws and abolish both the death penalty and all corporal punishments that violate the international treaty obligations it has promised to respect.”

Sudanese law states that anyone accused of a serious crime has the right to legal representation and that it cannot impose the death penalty on juveniles.

Lawyers acting on her behalf for free have lodged an appeal and expect a response within two months. Meanwhile, Abdallah remains in prison.

“Abdallah did not even receive the benefit of protections in Sudan’s own laws,” Bekele said. “Authorities should drop the charges and free her immediately.”

 To sign Amnesty’s letter to the president of Sudan, please click here.

  1. Mandy says:

    I don’t see where the law (at least the part of it that’s quoted) says only a woman should be stoned for adultery. It says a married person. So – it takes two to commit adultery. What about the man? Shouldn’t he be punished too? I’m not advocating any kind of capital or corporal punishment for anyone for this behavior, just pointing out that it goes beyond just the actual punishment to the egregious inequality of treating men and women differently in this. Takes two to tango.

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