129 People Charged with Apostasy in South Khartoum: Maximum Sentence is the Death Penalty
(14 September 2011) On 29 July 2011, 150 people were arrested by police in Hay Mayo, South Khartoum. All are members of the Hausa ethnic group and from Darfur. While 21 individuals (children and the elderly) were immediately released, 129 were subsequently charged with apostasy, disturbance of the public peace, and being a public nuisance under Articles 126, 69 and 77 of the 1991 Sudanese Penal Code respectively (Case No. 2157/2011). The most serious of these charges, apostasy, carries a maximum sentence of death. The case is being tried in Al Nasar Criminal Court, Hay Mayo, South Khartoum and is presided over by Judge Ussma Ahmed abd Alla.
According to Article 126, an apostate includes anyone “who propagates for renunciation of the creed of Islam or publicly declares his renouncement thereof by an express statement or conclusive act.” If found guilty of the above offense, the defendants, subject to Article 126, will be given the opportunity to repent. Failure to repent may result in the application of the maximum sentence, which is the death penalty. The other charges carry less severe, though harsh sentences. Under Article 69, the maximum sentence is a prison term not to exceed three months, with a fine or a whipping, not exceeding 20 lashes.
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