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Sudan
12.02.02
Urgent Interventions

Sudan: Court overturns Death Sentence by Stoning

VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN
Case SDN 040102.1 VAW
Follow up of Case SDN 040102
Court overturns Death Sentence by Stoning

The International Secretariat of OMCT has received new information concerning the woman who was sentenced to death by stoning in Sudan.

New information

The International Secretariat of OMCT has been informed by the Sudanese Victims of Torture Group (SVTG), a member of the OMCT network that a Sudanese appeals court in Sudan’s southern Dafur state has overturned the death sentence by stoning of a young pregnant women named Abok Alfa Akok, who was accused of adultery. The case has been sent back to the lower court for new sentencing.

According to information received, the court of appeal ruled at the end of last month that the lower court should give the defendant a “rebuke” sentence, not capital punishment. Abok Alfa Akok, appealed on 3 January 2002. She is reportedly still in prison in Nyala.

According to the information received, documents from the appeal show that the Sudanese man accused of adultery with Akok had been acquitted by the lower court.

The International Secretariat of OMCT remains concerned for the physical and psychological integrity of Abok Alfa Akok, as the charges against her have not yet been dismissed.

Brief reminder of the situation

The International Secretariat of OMCT was informed by the Sudanese Victims of Torture Group (SVTG) of the sentencing to death by stoning of a young women named Abok Alfa Akok from Nyala City, Southern Darfur.

According to the information received, on 8 December 2001, Abok Alfa Akok, a Christian woman of 18 years of age from the Dinka tribe, was sentenced to death by stoning by the criminal court in Nyala City, Southern Darfur, for the crime of adultery.

The sentence was based on Article 146 of the Sudan’s 1991Penal Code, which is based upon the government’s interpretation of the Shari’a (Islamic law), and which states that whoever commits the offence of adultery shall be punished with:
1. Execution by stoning when the offender is married (muhsan);
2. One hundred lashes when the offender is not married (non-muhsan);
3. Male, non-married offenders may be punished, in addition to whipping, with expatriation for a year.

According to the information received, the lawyer has stated that Abok Alfa Akok has not received a fair trial and an appeal has been submitted against the sentence.

Actions requested

Please write to the Sudanese authorities urging them to:

i. guarantee the physical and psychological integrity of Abok Alfa Akok;

ii. ensure that the Abok Alfa Akok has a fair and prompt trial in compliance with international standards of fair trial;

iii. take all necessary measures to secure the respect of the rule of law in Sudan which includes the respect of the prohibition of torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and punishment and amend the Sudanese legislation as a matter of priority, in order to abolish the death penalty;

iv. ensure in all circumstances the full respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with national and international standards.

Addresses:

· His Excellency Ambassador Ibrahim Mirghani Ibrahim, Permanent Mission of Sudan to the United Nations in Geneva, Case Postal 335, 1211 Geneva 19, fax : 0041 (0) 22 731 26 56, email: mission.sudan@ties.itu.int.

· His Excellency Lieutenant General Omar Hassan al-Bashir, President of the Republic of Sudan, People’s Palace, PO Box 281, Khartoum, Sudan, Telex: 22385 PEPLC SD or 22411 KAID SD

· Mr Ali Osman Yasin, Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Ministry of Justice, Khartoum, Sudan. Telex:22459 KHRJA SD or 22461 KHRJA SD (via Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

· Mr Mustafa Osman Ismail, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, PO Box 873, Khartoum, Sudan

Given the lack of working fax numbers for the government officials above, please send the appeals by standard mail and also write to the embassies of Sudan in your respective country.

Geneva, 12 February 2002

Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply
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