Sudanese woman sentenced to stoning: Charges dismissed

Photo credit: United Nations

On July 3, the Ombada General Criminal Court in Khartoum, Sudan dismissed the charges of Intisar Sharif Abdallah, an activist and mother of three, who was sentenced to death by stoning for adultery under Article 146 of the Sudanese penal code.  She was freed from prison after the court found no evidence to proceed with the trial.

Intisar was accused of having a relationship with and becoming pregnant by a man who was not her husband.  She initially denied the charges, but pleaded guilty to adultery after being beaten and tortured by her brother who instigated the charges.  On May 13, she received her sentence to death by stoning based on her coerced admission.  Intisar was denied access to a lawyer at the hearing.  She was not provided with an interpreter to translate the court proceeding conducted in Arabic, which is not her native language. She was detained with her four-month old son in the Omdurman women’s prison.  However, her co-accused denied the charges and was never prosecuted.

Sudan is one of the seven remaining countries that have yet to sign and ratify the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).  The vast majority of adultery cases and stoning sentences in Sudan are imposed on women.  The Sudanese government must reform the penal code and align it with a commitment to international human rights standards. This means bringing an end to the decriminalization of consensual sexual relations between adults and banning stoning as a punishment for any crime.



Sudanese woman sentenced to stoning death over adultery claims, The Guardian, 31 May 2012.

Woman in Sudan sentenced to death by stoning, Nobel Women’s Initiative, 6 June 2012.