Read More Atheist Republic A court in Sudan has sentenced three men to amputation for stealing, making it the first time such punishment was handed down in almost a decade.
Worrying development and definite sign of Islamist return. Harks back to the Hudud laws implemented by the state following #Sudan’s last Islamo-military coup in 1989.Here’s the article: https://t.co/ygOm0Ej9jX
— Kholood Khair (@KholoodKhair) February 16, 2023
The three men were in their 20s and were accused of stealing gas cylinders in Sudan’s most populous city, Omdurman. They were also given a three-year prison sentence for mischief and a two million Sudanese pound fine as compensation.
The convicted men were taken to Koper Prison, where their sentence would be carried out at an unspecified date. The prison holds former Sudanese president Omar Al-Bashir and his men. Al-Bashir was previously overthrown in a 2019 coup.
Although the verdict was handed down two weeks ago, the news of the men’s conviction recently came to light. The case also worries many, fearing that the ruling is a sign of Sudan sliding back into fundamentalism more than a year after a military coup halted the country’s transition to democracy.
“Unfortunately, despite the political change in the country, nothing has changed in terms of the rights of the people; it was a change on the surface,” Samir Makeen, the men’s lawyer, said.
Sudan signed the United Nations Convention to stop torture and other forms of cruel, degrading, and inhumane punishment in August 2021. The move should have led the country’s criminal code to be amended to better align with international human rights laws, “but that never happened because there’s no real will to do that by the people who hold the power. That’s why we keep seeing such cases every now and then,” Makeen also added.
The African Center for Justice and Peace Studies, an Uganda-based human rights organization, released a statement condemning the verdict and accusing the Sudanese government of not giving the three men their right to a free trial.
ACJPS calls on Sudanese authorities to overturn the sentence of hand amputation against three men convicted of theft. We further call on the authorities to stop imposing all other forms of corporal punishment such as amputation, stoning and flogging. https://t.co/hoTLUdKnPC pic.twitter.com/MdDyfjvaZq
— African Centre (@AfricanCentre) February 9, 2023
The organization said the trial was conducted “without legal representation, [with the] failure of the court to explain to the accused the gravity and penalty of the offenses and the reliance of court on the confessions as the only evidence to convict the accused.”
The human rights situation in Sudan has been precarious due to the country’s political instability. Islamic laws had ruled the Muslim-majority African nation since 1983, which was temporarily halted when Sadiq al-Mahdi was democratically elected and resumed when Bashir seized power in an Islamist-backed coup in 1989.
When Bashir was ousted in 2019, some progressive laws were passed, such as the banning of flogging and female genital mutilation. However, the October 2021 coup saw many unpopular and regressive laws reintroduced.