The Sudanese government is set to abolish the death sentence penalty, usually handed to those who quit the religion of Islam. The government also hope to decriminalize blasphemy, which equally stipulates severe punishment to those found to have spoken ill of Islam.
Sudan remains one of the few Islamic countries where apostasy and blasphemy attracts the death penalty.
Speaking in Khartoum, the Sudanese capital, Muhammad Hassan Arabi, a member of the transitional government said, the lawmakers would repeal article 126 of the sharia penal code, under which apostasy rulings are decided.
Under the new proposal, those found to have apostasized would no longer face the death penalty but would instead be subjected to a 6 months jail term, fine, flogging or the combination of all three.
Reacting to the development, Humanist UK’s Director of Public Affairs said,
“It is a huge step forward that Sudan is planning to abolish the death penalty as a punishment for apostasy. We hope this move will serve as a positive inspiration to the thirteen other countries around the world that similarly have a death sentence for the same crimes”.
In May 2014, a pregnant christian woman Mariem Yahia Ibrahin, who was raised christian despite having a muslim father, was sentenced to death for refusing to renounce her faith.
Other Islamic nations with apostasy laws are Afghanistan, Mauritania, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Somalia.