Sudan to adopt “Islamic constitution”: Bashir

President Omar al-Bashir announced Oct. 12 that Sudan will adopt an Islamic constitution. The official creation of an Islamic state, three months after the formal split between Sudan and South Sudan , is intended to more accurately reflect the religious affiliation of its population now that the mainly Christian south is an independent country, Bashir said. “Ninety eight percent of the people are Muslims and the new constitution will reflect this,” the president told students in Khartoum in a speech. “The official religion will be Islam and Islamic law the main source [of the constitution]. We call it a Muslim state.” Bashir remains wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of war crimes and genocide in Dafur. The constitutional revision raises grave concerns the more than one million southerners living in Sudan, who have already been given until the spring to leave and are treated as foreigners. They have lost government jobs and now need work and residency permits to stay in the north. (Reuters, Jurist, Oct. 13)

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  1. Sudan stoning death violates international law: HRW
    Human Rights Watch (HRW) May 31 urged the Sudanese government to reform its discriminatory laws and abolish both the death penalty and all corporal punishment after a young Sudanese woman was sentenced to death by stoning for adultery. Intisar Sharif Abdallah, who is believed to be under the age of 18, was sentenced in April under article 146 of Sudan’s Criminal Act of 1991. The provision requires that a married person who commits adultery be sentenced to death by stoning, while an unmarried person receives 100 lashes. Abdallah is currently detained in Omdurman prison with her five-month-old baby. Although Sudanese law prohibits death sentences for juveniles, the court in this case did not inquire about Abdallah’s age. HRW expressed concern that the court did not provide her legal counsel or an interpreter, despite the fact that Arabic is not her first language. Daniel Bekele, Africa director at HRW, pointed out that the death sentence by stoning is in violation of international law, and that the irregularities in the trial violated Sudan’s own laws. He called for Abdallah to be released immediately. (Jurist, June 1)