A woman in Sudan will be stoned to death for cheating on her husband in the first such case in 10 years.
Maryam Alsyed Tiyrab, 20, was arrested in Sudan’s White Nile state last month before she was found guilty of adultery by a court on June 26.
Maryam – who had returned to her family home after separating from her husband – claims to have been interrogated by police and forced to give an illegal confession.
The sharia judge ordered she be stoned to death, a decision she has appealed at Sudan’s High Court.
The 20-year-old says she was denied a lawyer and that the court didn’t obtain a police complaint before the commencement of her trial.
In Sudan – which uses sharia as its legal structure – people convicted of Hudud crimes, which include theft, highway robbery, adultery and apostasy, can have their hands and feet cut off, be flogged or even killed by the state.
The last time a woman was sentenced to death by stoning for cheating on her partner in Sudan was in 2013 – but the woman escaped death when the High Court overturned the decision.
Human rights groups are calling for Maryam’s immediate release.
The African Center for Justice and Peace Studies (ACJPS), based in Uganda called for Tiyrab’s “immediate and unconditional release” and accused the Sudanese Government of violating domestic and international law.
In a statement, the African Center for Justice and Peace Studies (ACJPS) said: “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.”
Stoning as a form of capital punishment is still practiced in several sharia states, including Iran, the UAE, Qatar, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and Yemen.
In November last year, it emerged Iran planned to sentence a husband and his lover to death for adultery after the man’s father-in-law demanded their blood, according to reports.
The man’s wife is said to have given police video clips of her husband’s infidelity early this year, but also appealed for him and his mistress to be spared the ultimate penalty, local media reports.
It was the wife’s dad who demanded the pair be executed and a court found in his favor, Shargh Daily reports.
Under Iran’s form of Sharia law the victim’s family can forgive the accused and their sentence can be reduced from death to a pardon or jail sentence.
Adultery is a capital crime in Iran following the interpretation of Sharia law installed after the country’s Islamic revolution in 1979.
The original law made the crime punishable by stoning, but Tehran modified this in 2013 and judges can now order alternative methods – usually hanging.