Sudan ends death penalty, corporal punishment for LGBTIQ+ people

LGBTIQ+ advocates have welcomed a suite of new laws and amendments passed by the Sudanese parliament, which includes the end of the death penalty for homosexual activity.

The Sovereign Council of Sudan has approved the package, which will ban punishment for apostasy, female genital mutilation and corporal punishment and the death penalty for same-sex relations.

Though advocates have celebrated the news, homosexuality is still criminalised under Sudan law, and LGBTIQ+ people can still be imprisoned for up to 7 years under Article 148 of the 1991 Penal Code.

“The queer movement in Sudan is fully aware of the importance of its continues and dedicated work to advocate for decriminalization,” Bedayaa said in a statement.

“Bedayaa Organization considers passing these laws and amendments as a great step toward reforming the justice system in Sudan; this would pave the path for new amendments for change. As ‘Freedom, Peace and Justice’ was and will remain the slogan of the Sudan Revolution, justice will not exist without institutions that apply the role of law on the basis of freedom and equality.”

International LGBTIQ+ advocacy group OutRight Action International’s Deputy Executive Director Maria Sjödin adds their support for the move.

“The removal of the death penalty for same-sex intimacy in Sudan among other important reforms, such as the banning of female genital mutilation and stoning for apostasy, is an important step for the human rights of LGBTIQ people, and human rights in Sudan overall,” Sjödin said.

“It is astonishing that over a third of the world’s countries continue to criminalize same-sex love, and even more staggering that a handful prescribe the death penalty for consensual same-sex intimacy. It is encouraging that as of now, that number has been reduced by one. We can only hope that decriminalization of same-sex love will follow.”

Sudan’s changes leave four nations who still explicitly enforce the death penalty for same-sex relations; Somalia, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Yemen. The death penalty is also permissible under sharia law in the United Arab Emirates, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Qatar, Nigeria and Brunei.

OIP Staff

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