Sudan: Intisar Sharif Adbdalla must not be executed!

Press release

The Coalition of organizations members of the Campaign, “ Africa for Women’s Rights: Ratify and Respect ” strongly condemn the sentence to death by stoning of Intisar Sharif Abdalla, a twenty-year old Sudanese woman, native to the Nuba Mountains, on accusations of adultery. Our organizations urge the Sudanese authorities to overturn this sentence and immediately proceed to Intisar Sharif’s unconditional release.

On May 13th 2012, the criminal court of Ombada, Khartoum state, sentenced Intisar Sharif Abdalla to death by stoning on charges of adultery under article 146.1(a) of Sudan’s 1991 penal code dealing with “punishment for Zina”. During her trial, Intisar Sharif, who initially pleaded "not guilty", was denied all minimum guarantees required in such a criminal case : she did not benefited from any legal representation ; nor from the assistance of an interpreter despite her limited knowledge of Arabic. It is also to be noticed that Intisar Sharif, who has reportedly been beaten by her brother, later "admitted" to the charges. 

This sentence, based on the unique testimony of a threatened woman and delivered after an obviously unfair trial, is inconsistent with Sudan’s regional and international human rights obligations” declared the undersigned organizations. “The overturn of this sentence and the immediate release of Intisar Sharif are the only conceivable options for Sudan” they added.

A legal team set up with the help of women’s rights organizations recently filed an appeal at Ombada’s Court of Appeals. Meanwhile, Intisar Sharif is being maintained at the Omdurman Women’s Prison of Khartoum with her four-month old baby. For our organizations, “the case of Intisar Sharif, whose co-accused has not been convicted, is symptomatic not only of the failures of the administration of justice in Sudan but also of the persisting and serious discrimination against women in this country”.

According to our organizations, “this sentence, pronounced in illegal conditions, raises the urgency of the establishment of a moratorium on executions in Sudan”. The Campaign “calls on the authorities not to proceed to the execution of Intisar Sharif and to adopt such a moratorium as a first step towards de jure abolition”.

Signatory organizations:

 African Center for Democracy and Human Rights Studies (ACDHRS) – Gambia
 African Center for Justice and Peace Studies (ACJPS) – Sudan
 Al Khatim Adlan center for human development and Enlightenment (KACE)
 Association africaine de défense des droits de l’Homme (ASADHO) – Democratic Republic of Congo
 Association Capverdienne des Femmes Juristes (AMJ) – Cape Verde
 Associação Justiça, Paz e Democracia (AJPD) – Angola
 Association of Female Lawyers of Liberia – Liberia
 Association malienne des droits de l’Homme (AMDH) - Mali
 Association mauritanienne des droits de l’Homme (AMDH) - Mauritania
 Cause Rurale - Democratic Republic of Congo
 Centre des Femmes pour la Paix (CFP) - Burundi
 Civil Liberties Organization (CLO) – Nigeria
 Darfur Relief and Documentation Centre
 DITSHWANELO - The Botswana Centre for Human Rights – Botswana
 Dushirehamwe Network - Burundi
 Female Lawyers Association of the Gambia - Gambia
 Femmes debout pour défendre ses droits (FDPDD)
 Foundation for Human Rights Initiative (FHRI) – Uganda
 Groupe Lotus (GL) – Democratic Republic of Congo
 International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)
 Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) – South Africa
 Legal and Human Rights Center (LHRC) – Tanzania
 Ligue des électeurs (LE) – Democratic Republic of Congo 
 Ligue ITEKA – Burundi
 Ligue sénégalaise des droits humains (LSDH) - Senegal
 Ligue tchadienne des droits de l’Homme (LTDH) - Chad
 Ligue togolaise des droits de l’Homme (LTDH) – Togo
 Mouvement burkinabé des droits de l’Homme et des peuples (MBDHP) – Burkina Faso
 Mouvement pour la Défense des Droits de l’Homme ADALCI Niamey - Niger .
 No to Women Oppression Coalition
 Observatoire congolais des droits de l’Homme (OCDH) – Republic of Congo
 Organisation guinéenne des droits de l’Homme et du citoyen (OGDH) - Guinea Conakry
 Organisation nationale des droits de l’Homme (ONDH) - Senegal
 Rencontre africaine pour la défense des droits de l’Homme (RADDHO) – Senegal
 Strategic initiative for women in the Horn of Africa (SIHA)
 The REDEMEC - Network of Women Economist - Cape Verde
 The Women’s Peace Center - Burundi
 Union interafricaine des droits de l’Homme (UIDH)
 Women In Law and Development in Africa – Afrique de l’Ouest (WILDAF West Africa)
 Women In Law and Development in Africa - Togo (WILDAF Togo)
 Women’s Learning Partnership for Rights Development and Peace
 Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZIMRIGHTS) – Zimbabwe

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