Freedom House condemns stoning sentence in Sudan
Freedom House condemns a decision to sentence a Sudanese girl to death by stoning in Omdurman, Sudan after she was accused of bearing a child out of wedlock. The Sudanese Supreme Court must repeal the sentence and ensure her safety. Furthermore, Freedom House calls on the Government of Sudan to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with international human rights standards by repealing Article 146 of its penal code, permanently abolishing the death penalty, which contravenes international covenants against basic human rights.
According to local news reports, the accused refused to deny the allegations, however, the man who allegedly fathered the child was released after denying his involvement. The case has been passed on to the Supreme Court, which is expected to uphold the verdict. The decision was condemned by "Change Now," a Sudanese youth organization calling for a peaceful change in power.
Sudan, ruled by a military-backed regime that brought President Omar al-Bashir to power in 1989, is considered by Freedom House to be one of the world's worst human rights abusers. President Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide for his involvement in the Darfur conflict. Since South Sudan achieved independence in July 2011, Sudan's ruling National Congress Party has brutally cracked down on peaceful protests throughout the country and continued to fight rebels in Darfur, South Kordofan and the Blue Nile states in an effort to maintain its grip on power. The recent border conflict with South Sudan has intensified the government's crackdown on opposition voices throughout the country.