Home » Culture » Sudanese woman to be stoned to death over adultery claims

Sudanese woman to be stoned to death over adultery claims

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A 23-year-old woman has been sentenced to death by stoning in Sudan, the second such case in recent months, prompting an outcry from human rights defenders.

Laila Ibrahim Issa Jamool is said to be currently shackled at the ankles in detention and with her six-month old baby at her side.

Rights groups say the child is in poor health and that Mrs Jamool is in need of psycho-social support for her distress.

She and her husband have been undergoing a divorce session in court for the past one year following estrangement 18 months after their marriage in 2008.

According to campaign group The Strategic initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa (SIHA), her husband charged her with adultery (Zina) before the birth of her child in March 2012.

With divorce proceedings still on, her husband filed yet another case for her to be returned to his home by power of legal force (known as Baitaltaa, according to militant application of Islamic Sharia law).

SIHA says Mrs Jamool was denied a chance to have a lawyer to represent her, as provided for by both international and Sudanese law where such a sentence is involved.

The group says that Mrs Jamool faced an unfair trial since article 135 of Sudan’s Criminal procedure code stipulates that a defendant is entitled to legal representation in any criminal case that carries a sentence of 10 years or greater, imprisonment, amputation or death.

This is not an isolated case in Sudan. In April this year, Intisar Sharif Abdullah was sentenced to death by stoning over adultery claims but was eventually released “due to lack of evidence” following international pressure. Sudan is one of seven countries where death by stoning is a punishment and in many cases, women are forced to confess under duress and physical torture.

The rights group is demanding the immediate and unconditional release of Mrs Jamool and her child.

“The victimisation of women as the result of complex socio-economic and cultural relationships must be stopped and Sudan must urgently adopt measure and laws that protect and respect the dignity and the human rights of Sudanese women,” said SIHA director Hala Alkarib in a media statement.

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