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Darfur: Imposition of Cross Amputation

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SOAT

Sudan Organisation Against Torture
Human Rights Alert: 06 January 2006

On 25 December 2005, Zalingy Special Criminal Court sentenced Abdella Salih Hussain Mohamed, (35 yrs) to cross amputation on his right hand and the left foot and to a total of six years imprisonment after convicting him under 130 (Murder) and 167 (Armed Robbery Hiraba) and imposing sentence under Article 168 (Penalty for Armed Robbery - Hiraba) of the 1991 Sudanese Penal Code. �

Mr. Mohamed was initially arrested and detained by police officers in Zalingy on 3 June 2005 on suspicion of looting property (three donkeys) belonging to internally displaced persons (IDPs) and causing the death of Fatima Adam Haroun during the theft in Alhisahisa IDP camp in Zalingy.�

On 7 September 2005, the case was transferred before the Special Criminal Court. Following presentations by both the prosecution and defence, Mr. Mohamed was found guilty on the same day.

Background

According to Sudanese Penal Code which is based on Shari’a laws, article 167 of the Penal Code 1991 states:

There shall be deemed to commit the offence of armed robbery (Hiraba) whoever intimidates the public or hinder the users of a highway with the intention of committing an offence against the body, or honour, or property;

a. that the act be committed away from his buildings, whether on land, water, or air;

b. that weapons or any offensive tool is used or threatened to be used.

Penalty for armed robbery (Hiraba) is stated under article 168 of the Penal Code. It states the following:

Whoever commits the offence of armed robbery (Hiraba) shall be punished with:

death, or death then crucifixion, if his act results in murder or rape;
the amputation of the right hand and left foot if his act results in grievous hurt or robbery of property equivalent to the minimum (Nisab) for capital theft;
imprisonment for a term not exceeding seven years in exile, in cases other than those set out in paragraphs (a), (b) and (c).

SOAT is unconditionally opposed to all forms of corporal penalties which constitutes cruel, degrading and inhumane punishments and strongly condemns its use by the Government of Sudan. SOAT is gravely concerned by the imposition of cruel, inhumane and degrading punishments and calls on the government to immediately repel articles within the 1991 Penal Code to ensure it is inline with its obligations under international law. In addition, SOAT calls on the government to urgently revisit the procedures of these Special Criminal Courts operating in Darfur, which do not comply with international or national standards for fair trials. SOAT strongly condemns the all cruel, degrading and inhumane punishments and urges the Government of Sudan to:

i. Abolish the death penalty and any other cruel punishment including amputation, cross amputation, crucifixion, stoning, flogging and any other corporal punishments in Sudan;

ii. Ensure respect for rights to fair trial and to legal appeal in accordance with international human rights standards, for all detainees throughout Sudan

iii. Guarantee respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms throughout Sudan in accordance with national laws and international human rights standards

SOAT is an international human rights organisation established in the UK in 1993. If you have any questions about this or any other SOAT information, please contact us:

- Argo House
- Kilburn Park Road
- London NW6 5LF, UK
- Tel: +44 (0)20 7625 8055
- Fax: +44 (0)20 7372 2656
- E-mail: info@soatsudan.org
- Website: www.soatsudan.org

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Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

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