Home | News    Wednesday 21 March 2007

Sudanese women to be stoned for adultery

March 20, 2007 (KHARTOUM) — Two Sudanese women have been sentenced to death by stoning for adultery after a trial in which they had no lawyer and which used Arabic, not their first language, the rights group Amnesty International said.

Sadia Idriss Fadul was sentenced on February 13 and Amouna Abdallah Daldoum on March 6 and their sentences could be carried out at any time, the London-based group said in a statement released late on Monday.

North Sudan implements Islamic sharia law.

"The women had no lawyer during their trial and were not able to defend themselves, as their first languages are those of their ethnic groups," Amnesty said.

Both women are from non-Arab tribes but the proceedings were in Arabic and no interpreter was provided, Amnesty said. Their trial took place in central Al Gezira state.

"One of the women, Sadia Idriss Fadul, has one of her children with her in prison," Amnesty said. Faysal el-Bagir, a Sudanese human rights activist, said sentences of death by stoning were rare, "but we have heard that in this area there have been other such judgments."

The male accused in Fadul’s case was let off because there was not enough evidence against him. Witnesses are usually required to gain a conviction and forensic tests are not normally used in such cases.

Under Sudan’s penal code, anyone who is married and has sex outside wedlock shall be punished by execution by stoning. If they are unmarried, they are lashed, Amnesty said.

El-Bagir said that in another case in Sudan’s western Darfur region about two years ago, a woman sentenced to death by stoning had her punishment reduced to lashing after a public campaign by rights activists.

Amnesty opposes all forms of capital punishment.

Sudan’s justice ministry was unavailable for comment.

(Reuters)