Death penalty for sodomy;Waging war against the state; apostasy; prostitution; treason; acts that may endanger the independence or unity of the state; murder; armed robbery; weapons possession and smuggling

Christian pastors to face trial in Sudan, lawyer arrested

Two South Sudanese pastors in Sudan will face trial for espionage and their lawyer has been arrested.
A judge ruled on July 2 that Rev Yat Michael and Rev David Yein Reith’s trial will continue, meaning that they could face the death penalty or life imprisonment if found guilty. A day earlier, July 1, their chief counsel – Mohaned Mustafa – was also arrested, along with Pastor Hafez of the Khartoum Bahri Evangelical Church where Michael spoke out against the persecution of Christians in Sudan.
According to the American Centre for Law and Justice (ACLJ), the church is involved in an ongoing land dispute with the government, and Hafez and Mustafa are accused of obstructing a public servant during the course of his duty. They have been released on bail, but will face trial in court.
Michael was arrested on 14 December 2014, and Reith in January of this year. They were both detained without charges, and without access to a lawyer or their families, until March 1. They are now being held on six charges including espionage, “offending Islamic beliefs” and undermining the constitutional system.
The men maintain they have not committed any crime. Michael recently told CBN news from his prison cell that he didn’t know why he had been arrested: “We just go to to out ministry training in our church”.
Their next hearing has been scheduled for July 14, and Mustafa will only be allowed about 15 minutes with his clients to brief them ahead of the meeting. “Sudanese law grants sole discretion for visitation rights at the prison to the prison directorate, who in this case has previously denied requests for access,” said the ACLJ.
The pastors have also been denied regular visits from relatives, which is illegal under the Sudanese constitution. “This is meant to put more psychological pressures and warfare on the arrested pastors,” a legal representative told World Watch Monitor.
“The serious criminal charges against Michael and Yen have been levied solely on the basis of their religious convictions and outspoken criticism of the ruling party, and as such, that their continued detention and criminal proceedings are discriminatory and in violation of constitutional and international legal guarantees of equality,” a statement from the African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies said.
“There is also speculation that the trial of the two men is intended to send a message to other Christian leaders in Sudan to refrain from criticising the treatment of Christian minorities in Sudan and the policies of the ruling party”.
Mervyn Thomas, Chief Executive of Christian Solidarity Worldwide said, “We are disappointed to learn that the judge has decided to uphold the extreme and unwarranted charges against Rev Michael and Rev Reith. We continue to call for their immediate and unconditional release. The ongoing restrictions on their legal and family visits are not only distressing for the pastors and their families, but also constitute yet another hurdle for their legal team to overcome and a violation of fair trial principles, as articulated by Article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Sudan is a party.
“Moreover, the harassment and assault on Pastor Hafez is wholly unacceptable, and typifies an ongoing, discriminatory policy targeting religious and ethnic minorities that is officially sanctioned. The international community, and in particular the African Union, must impress upon Sudan its obligation to protect and promote freedom of religion or belief and the right to a fair trial.”
Source: Christian Today, Carey Lodge, July 4, 2015

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SHOCKING: Teenage Gang-Rape Survivor in Sudan Convicted of ‘Indecent Acts’

february 25, 2014

An 18-year-old Ethiopian migrant woman in Khartoum, Sudan was out looking for housing, when she was lured into an empty property and gang-raped by seven men. A police officer found her after the attack and took her to the police station. However, since it was a public holiday, a formal complaint was not filed.

The perpetrators of the rapes filmed the attack and distributed the video through social media six months later. As a result, everyone involved was arrested.

Of the seven men put on trial, three were convicted of adultery and sentenced to 100 lashes. Two more were convicted of indecent acts and sentenced to 40 lashes and fines. Another man was convicted of distributing indecent material and sentenced to 40 lashes and a heavy fine. The seventh individual was released on grounds of insufficient evidence against him. Those sentenced to lashing had their sentences carried out immediately after the trial in a closed court.

But that’s not where the story ends.

The young woman, who is now nine months pregnant, was first charged with adultery, which carries a possible sentence of death by stoning in Sudan. For any married person, sex outside the marriage is considered a capital offense under the Sudanese legal code.

However, the court eventually dropped the charge after recognizing that the woman is divorced and therefore not subject to being charged as a married person for adultery.  When she tried to file a formal complaint of the rapes, the Attorney General did not allow her to do so because she was under investigation for a criminal offense.

During the trial, she was found guilty of committing “Indecent Acts,” sentenced to a month in prison, which has been suspended, and fined 5,000 Sudanese Pounds (about $961.00). She has also been threatened with “punishment for illegal entry” under Sudan’s immigration law and faces a prison sentence of 1 to 2 years and/or a fine, followed by expulsion.

Guilty verdicts and immigration charges against survivors of sexual violence only discourage individuals who experience such violations from speaking up and seeking help, reinforcing a culture of impunity for the perpetrators. Governments around the world must protect the human rights and safety of people living within their borders and hold those who violate those rights accountable.

We can help break the cycle of violence against women and girls globally by urging the U.S. Congress to pass legislation making this a diplomatic priority.  The International Violence Against Women Act (I-VAWA), currently under consideration as H.R. 3571 in the House of Representatives and soon to be reintroduced in the Senate, would do just that. You can start by taking action here to urge your Representative to sign on as a co-sponsor!


Save Sudanese Mother, 20, From Death By Stoning

A young mother found guilty of adultery in Sudan has been sentenced to death by stoning.

Intisar Sharif Abdallah, 20, was tried without access to a lawyer and is being detained with her four-month-old baby.

Even worse, Abdallah admitted to the charges only after her brother reportedly beat her. The man held with her reportedly denied the charges and was released.

She is said to be shackled by the legs and in psychological distress, unable to understand the nature of her sentence. (Arabic, the language in which she is charged, is not her first language.)


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