Home | News    Wednesday 5 August 2015

U.S. and Sudanese diplomats discuss religious freedoms


August 4, 2015 (KHARTOUM) - U.S. ambassador for international religious freedom, David N. Saperstein, Wednesday discussed with Sudanese officials at the foreign ministry the situation of religious freedom and raised pressing issues facing the Non-Muslims in Sudan.

JPEG - 31.6 kb
Ambassador David N. Saperstein (Photo State Dept)

Since 1999, Sudan is on the U.S. State Department list of "countries of particular concern" as the government of president Omer al-Bashir is accused of severe violations of religious freedoms.

"For more than 20 years, the 1991 Criminal Code, the 1991 Personal Status Law of Muslims, and state-level “public order” laws have restricted religious freedom for all Sudanese" said the annual report of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) released on April 30, 2015.

In a meeting the foreign ministry under-secretary Abdel-Gani al-Naeim, Saperstein discussed some practices that contradict Sudan’s constitution and international conventions on freedom of religion human rights such as death sentences for apostasy, stoning for adultery, prison sentences for blasphemy, and floggings for offences of honour, reputation and public morality.

Al-Naeim said that the interim constitution of 2005 does not define the religion of the Sudanese state adding that the application of the Islamic legislation Sharia represents the desire of "the majority" of the population.

He further pointed out that reports published in the West about the religious freedoms in Sudan are not balanced and include a lot of unwarranted hostility against the country.

However ,the diplomat expressed Sudan’s willingness to engage in discussions with the United States on the issues raised by the visiting ambassador. Also he called for the lift of economic sanctions imposed on the country, saying that it affects Muslims and Christians alike.

The foreign ministry spokesperson Ali al-Sadiq denied in separate statements that the meeting discussed the case of the two south Sudanese pastors accused of espionage.

Al-Sadiq further said the meeting tackled religious freedom and the desire of the U.S. administration to cooperate with the government on its religious annual reports.

The USCIRF in its latest report recommended that the "normalization of relations with Sudan and any lifting of U.S. sanctions must be preceded by demonstrated, concrete progress on religious freedoms.

It called to create a Commission on the Rights of Non-Muslims to ensure and advocate religious freedom protections for non-Muslims in Sudan. Also it called to issue a decree ending the use of corporal punishments for hudood offences that violate “public order” as enumerated in the 1991 Criminal Code Act and state-level public order laws.


Comments on the Sudan Tribune website must abide by the following rules. Contravention of these rules will lead to the user losing their Sudan Tribune account with immediate effect.

- No inciting violence
- No inappropriate or offensive language
- No racism, tribalism or sectarianism
- No inappropriate or derogatory remarks
- No deviation from the topic of the article
- No advertising, spamming or links
- No incomprehensible comments

Due to the unprecedented amount of racist and offensive language on the site, Sudan Tribune tries to vet all comments on the site.

There is now also a limit of 400 words per comment. If you want to express yourself in more detail than this allows, please e-mail your comment as an article to comment@sudantribune.com

Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

Comment on this article

The following ads are provided by Google. SudanTribune has no authority on it.

Sudan Tribune

Promote your Page too

Latest Comments & Analysis

Completion of 2nd GERD’s filling necessitates a shift in trilateral negotiations 2021-07-20 19:55:28 By A.Tesfaye Abera The completion of the second-year filling of the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) instigates polarized views between Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt. Mainly Egypt sees it as (...)

South Sudan legislators should be cautious about the oath they will take 2021-07-15 07:04:56 By Roger Alfred Yoron Modi It is a fact that the legislators of South Sudan’s incoming Reconstituted Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA) are appointees of the parties to the (...)

What they said about Sudanese John Garang 2021-07-12 05:49:37 By Mahmoud A. Suleiman This article of a compilation of related topics comes against the backdrop of a number of issues relating to the Republic of South Sudan that was declared its inauguration (...)


Latest Press Releases

S. Korea supports UN communities building resilience project in Sudan’s Blue Nile 2019-09-09 09:26:41 UNDP Sudan September 5, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - An agreement was signed on 5th of September between the Korean Ambassador, His Excellency. Lee Ki-Seong and Dr. Selva Ramachandran, Resident (...)

Sudanese lawyers and Human rights defenders back calls for civil rule 2019-04-26 10:22:06 Press statement by 55 Sudanese lawyers and Human rights defenders on Sudan Sit-in and Peaceful Protest Khartoum -24/04/2019 We, the undersigned (55) Sudanese lawyers and human rights defenders, (...)

South Sudan’s Lafon youth condemn killings of civilians by Pari community 2019-04-03 21:54:29 Press Statement on the Fighting between Pari/ Pacidi and Lotuko/Lokiri on 24/3/2019 Release by The Lafon County Youth Union: We, the Lafon County Youth Union hereby condemn the atrocities and (...)


Copyright © 2003-2021 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.