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Woman flogged for ‘unauthorised marriage’ in Sudan

May 17 - 2018 OMDURMAN
A woman is publicly flogged in Sudan (File photo)
A woman is publicly flogged in Sudan (File photo)

A sentence of flogging was carried out by Omdurman Criminal Court on Tuesday against a woman who married without the consent of her father and brothers, even though her marriage was authorised and witnessed.

The defence lawyer said the flogging sentence was carried out after the woman and her child completed more than eight months following another six-month prison term in the women’s prison in Omdurman.

The lawyer said that the husband is still serving a three-year sentence. She explained that all attempts to suspend the sentence in the court failed and the sentence was eventually carried out this along with the payment of a fine of SDG 2,000 (*$70) as a third penalty. The Sharia court earlier issued sentence in their favour when the husband and wife were serving sentences in prison, but neither of them took notification.

The court ruled that the family rejected the appeal filed by the wife’s family because the husband had a child, according to the Personal Status Law.

The lawyer described the punishment of as harsh.

She told Radio Dabanga that the issue could have been resolved by releasing her with bail and granting her the right to apply to the Supreme Court for the abolition of the sentence issued by the Criminal Court until the final decision of the Supreme Court will be reached.

She criticised the implementation of the punishment of flogging in favour of the wife and said that as long as there is doubt there is no need for such a punishment.

She said what happened drew attention to all women’s rights defenders and women’s groups to struggle together for comprehensive legal reform at the level of criminal law, procedures and implementation.

Women’s rights

This flogging comes at a time of heightened international scrutiny of Sudan’s Sharia courts, after a 19-year-old woman was sentenced to death this week for killing her husband who allegedly raped her. Marital rape is not recognised as a crime in Sudan. The case has prompted a chorus of international condemnation.

* Based on the indicative US Dollar rate quoted by the Central Bank of Sudan

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