Sudan: 'Sudan: 17 women sentenced to 100 lashes of the whip after being convicted of adultery
Case SDN 261102.VAW
VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN CONCERN
Fair Trial/Corporal Punishment/Torture
The International Secretariat of OMCT has received information on the following situation in Sudan.
Brief description of the Situation
The International Secretariat of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) has been informed by the Sudanese Organisation Against Torture (SOAT) of the sentencing of 17 women in Munwashi, who have been tried for adultery, to 100 lashes of the whip each.
According to the information received, between 12 and 20 November 2002, 17 women in Munwashi, a village about 8 kilometers north of Nyala in Darfour, Western Sudan, were convicted of adultery and sentenced to 100 lashes of the whip. The charges of adultery were based solely on the fact that all of the women are unmarried but have children between the ages of 6 and 12 months. The women’s names are:
1. Um Alnas Mohamed Ahmed (21)
2. Hanan Abdulrahman Mohamed (19)
3. Hagir Mohamed Ahmed (18)
4. Nimat Abakr Abdelgadir (19)
5. Rasha Bahr Aldin Adam (18)
6. Fatima Abdulla Adam (20)
7. Gada Mosa Hamid (18)
8. Shamael Omar Fadl (22)
9. Hawa Yousif Abdelgadir (18)
10. Fathia Ahmed Abdulrahman (18)
11. Laila Adam Siraj (20)
12. Kaltoum Isam Adam (22)
13. Rawda Abdelgabar Mohamed (20)
14. Zahra Hassan Ali (21)
15. Gadah Abdelgabar (19)
16. Asma Mohamed Ahmed (18)
17. Zakia Altayeb
On 12, 14 and 20 November, the women were tried by Muhaakama Ijaaziya courts, which are reportedly in violation of internationally accepted fair trial standards notably in the way they carry out summary trials. They were tried under Article 146 of Sudan’s Penal Code, which states “whoever commits the offence of adultery shall be punished with (a) execution by stoning when the offender is married (mushan), or (b) one hundred lashes of the whip when the offender is not married (non-mushan).” None of the women were given legal representation at their trials and the punishments were all carried out on the same day as the trial, giving the women no opportunity seek legal advice or apply for an appeal. No men were punished in connection with these convictions.
Previously this year, two other women - Abok Alfa Akok (see OMCT Urgent Appeal Case SDN 040102.2 VAW and previous related appeals) and Alawiyah Mohamed Abdullah - were punished with lashes of the whip by the Special Court in Nyala having been charged with adultery. In both cases, the sentence was carried out on the same day as the conviction and no men were charged or punished in connection with the convictions of adultery.
OMCT is deeply concerned by the reports of sentencing to 100 lashes of the aforementioned 17 women convicted of adultery by the court in Nyala and unreservedly condemns the use of corporal punishment, which clearly violates international human rights standards that prohibit the use of torture. OMCT is also gravely concerned by the lack of legal representation given to the women throughout this process and the immediate infliction of punishment with no opportunity for appeal or legal consultation. OMCT would like to recall that the government of Sudan is a State Party to international human rights instruments which prohibit and punish torture including; the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Sudan has failed to sign the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, a signal of the government’s failure to adequately protect women’s rights.
Please write to the Sudanese authorities urging them to:
i. ensure that all 17 women receive adequate reparation for the injuries they have suffered as a result of this corporal punishment;
ii. take all necessary measures to ensure the respect for the international human rights instruments to which Sudan is party, which includes respect for the prohibition on torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and punishment, such as the practice of corporal punishment;
iii. guarantee women their human rights, including their right to be free from discrimination, their right to legal counsel and a fair trial, and their right to be free from torture and inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment, in line with international laws and standards;
iv. ensure in all circumstances the full respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with international laws and standards.
· His Excellency Lieutenant General Omar Hassan al-Bashir, President of the Republic of Sudan, President' s Palace, PO Box 281, Khartoum, Sudan, Fax: + 24911 771651
· His Excellency Mr Mustafa Osman Ismail, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, PO Box 873, Khartoum, Sudan, Fax: + 24911 779383.
· Dr Ahmed al-Mufti, Advisory Council for Human Rights, PO Box 302, Khartoum, Sudan, Sudan, Fax: + 24911 770883
· Mr Ali Mohamed Osman Yassin, Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Ministry of Justice, Khartoum, Sudan, Fax: + 24911 788941
· His Excellency Ambassador Mr. Ibrahim Mirghani Ibrahim, Permanent Mission of the Republic of Sudan to the United Nations in Geneva, PO Box 335, 1211 Geneva, Switzerland, Fax: +4122 731 26 56, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please also write to the Embassy of Sudan in your respective countries.
Geneva, 26 November 2002
Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.