Sweeping reforms to Sudan’s 1991 Penal Code have been passed into law, including the removal of the death penalty for apostasy. Previously, Sudan was one of only 14 countries to impose capital punishment for leaving Islam and was ranked as the ninth worst country in the world for its treatment of the non-religious by Humanists International’s 2019 Freedom of Thought Report.
The reforms have also included a ban on female genital mutilation, a moratorium on the use of public flogging as a punishment, the relaxation of the prohibition on alcohol for non-Muslims, and ending the requirement for women to seek male permission to travel with their children. Earlier reforms last year repealed the ‘decency laws’ which had imposed corporal punishment on women for breaches of dress-code.
These new changes indicate a significant move towards freedom of belief in Sudan. However, apostasy and ‘religious insult’ remain criminal offences in Sudan, so there is more work to be done.
[Source: Humanists UK]