Sudan Violates UN Convention On Torture by Sentencing a Woman to Death By Stoning

Maryam Alsyed Tiyrab, 20, charged and convicted of adultery on June 26, faces execution by stoning in Sudan. She was tried without the representation of a lawyer. 

Sudanese in the UK protest on June 20, 2022, demanding civilian rule in Sudan.
Sudanese in the UK protest on June 20, 2022, demanding civilian rule in Sudan. (

Adultery is a crime classified under Islamic law as a Hudud crime–those including theft, highway robbery, apostasy, illicit sexual intercourse and drinking alcohol, for which penalties may include amputation of hands and feet, flogging and death. The sentence was passed in White Nile, one of the 18 states of Sudan.

“The application of the death penalty by stoning for the crime of adultery is a grave violation of international law, including the right to life and the prohibition of torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment,” said the African Center for Justice and Peace Studies (ACJPS), a nongovernmental organization working to monitor and promote respect for human rights and legal reform in Sudan. According to the center, Tiyrab was not told that information from her interrogation would be used against her and she was not permitted legal representation at her trial.

ACJPS also points out that on August 10, 2021, Sudan ratified the Convention Against Torture, 35 years after adding its signature to the international treaty in 1986. Therefore, execution by stoning as a form of state-sanctioned torture is a breach of Sudan’s human rights obligations.

In 2020, Sudan’s transitional government announced reforms to some of its hardline criminal laws, but stoning was not among the reforms. Then on October 25, 2021, Sudan’s military detained the country’s prime minister and key civilian leaders, dissolved the government and declared a state of emergency.

On Thursday, July 14, U.S. Congress approved a draft resolution condemning the October military coup, and voicing support for the people of Sudan. It also demanded that the military junta lift the state of emergency and return the country to the path of democratic transition.


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