The African nation of Sudan has removed the death penalty and flogging punishments for gay sex.
The Independent reports: “Under the old sodomy law, gay men faced 100 lashes for a first offence, five years in prison for the second and the death sentence for the third. The punishments have been changed to jail sentences, from a maximum of five years to life. The decision to drop the death penalty and flogging was welcomed by activists, although they noted that gay people still face prison in the northeast African country.”
But punishments still include prison time, which activists want lifted as well.
“The punishments have been reduced to prison terms, ranging from five years to life,” Reuters reports.
Said Noor Sultan, founder of Bedayaa, an LGBT+ group in Egypt and Sudan: “These amendments are still not enough but they’re a great first step for the transitional government that’s trying to implement changes. We see this as a positive change on the path to reform.”
The full statement from Bedayaa:
“On July 2020, the Sudanese Sovereignty Council passed new laws, and passed a package of amendments to existing laws, aimed at reforming the Sudan’s justice system. Highlights of these amendments; 1) Abolition of apostasy punishment, 2) Abolition of crimes of freedom of belief and thought, 3) Abolition of force to subpoena 4) Reduction of national security authority in summoning and inspection, 5 Abolition of the death penalty against children and persons over 70 years of age and 6) abolition of substances that degrade women’s human dignity; including criminalization of female genital mutilation, recognition of women’s right to accompany their children while traveling abroad Sudan without the need for permission of their parents.
“Law reforms also included Section 148 of the Penal Code of 1991 (The Sodomy Law), the following has been cancelled; 1) in paragraph (a) delete the phrase ′′ with whipping hundred lashes “, 2) delete Replace paragraph (b) with the following paragraph: If the offender is convicted for the second time, he shall be sentenced to imprisonment for up to seven years, and in paragraph (c) delete the words ′′ by death penalty “.
“Although article 148 is still active, the Korean Movement in Sudan is fully aware of the importance of its continued and dedicated work against all forms of discrimination and abolition of the law of sodomy. The beginning of these laws and amendments is a big step towards reforming Sudan’s judicial system that would pave the way for new amendments. Since ′′ freedom – peace and justice ′′ was and will remain the slogan of the Sudanese revolution, justice would not exist without institutions that apply the role of law based on freedom and equality.
“On July 9, 2020, the Sudan’s Sovereign Council approved new laws, and passed a package of amendments to the existing ones; these amendments are to reform the justice system in Sudan. Most notably this package of amendments voided; 1) the penalty of apostasy, 2) crimes of freedom of belief and thought, 3) the practice of repentance for apostates, 4) the authority of the National Security to summon and inspection, 5) death penalty against children and persons over the age of 70, and 6) articles that undermine the human dignity of women; this includes criminalizing Female Genital Mutilation, and recognizing women’s right to accompany their children while traveling outside Sudan without requiring the permission of their fathers.”
“Laws’ reformation also included Article 148 of the 1991 Penal Code (Sodomy Law), which removed; 1) “with shipping a hundred lashes” from the first paragraph, 2) “with shipping a hundred lashes” from second paragraph and instead added imprisonment of jail time not more than seven years, and 3) the word ” Death” from the third paragraph.
“Although Article 148 is still active, the queer movement in Sudan is fully aware of the importance of its continues and dedicated work to advocate for decriminalization. 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.”