Sudan: Woman At Risk of Death by Stoning

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Sudan: Woman At Risk of Death by Stoning

Mariam Tirab, 20 years old woman from Sudan was sentenced to death by stoning on June 27th, 2022. She was found guilty By a judge in Kosty in White
Nile state of violating article 146(2) (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 remained unchanged.

Mariam Tirab was sentenced even though she was not 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 their basic
right of having fair trial. A group of lawyers and women’s rights organizations have started an appeal of the case at the higher court. In the last 10 years,
Sudan witnessed several cases similar to Mariam’s where the sentences were overturned when they were appealed. Under the current military regime, the
justice system in Sudan is at its worst, , as unfair and politicized trials are the norm. The lack of a civilian government in the country for almost a year is
increasing challenges for local WHRDs and human rights groups are exerting pressure on the military regime to reform the justice system.

Since the military coup on October 25th, 2021, systemic violence against women increased across the country. The return of fundamental Islamic leaders to the political scene in support of the military led to an increase in 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 scrutinized 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 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 the public spaces, 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 white Nile state under inhumane prison conditions.
Women’s rights and human rights groups started a campaign and organized protests calling for her release and for legal reforms that respect women rights.
We the undersigned groups and Individuals call on the Sudanese authorities to:

  • Overturn the sentence against Mariam Tirab and grant her the right to fair trial and access to lawyers and visits.
  • Abide by and respect their obligations to international laws as state parties of the International Covenant of Civil and Political Right and the UN Convention against the Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UNCAT).
  • We call on relevant UN Special Procedures mandate holders and OHCHR to take action to urge Sudanese authorities to overturn this sentence and end violations of the international human rights law and respect the state obligations to protect women and human rights.