Sudan

Sunnis (70%) in the north, Indigenous religions 25%, Christians 5%.

With regard to conversion from Islam, suspects are subject to close scrutiny, intimidation, and sometimes torture by members of the security forces who remain unpunished. However, according to the findings of the German Foreign Office, cases of prosecution for apostasy, which is punishable by the death penalty, were not known.

According to United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, blasphemy was used to intimidate those who express disapproving views. In recent years, such allegations have been made against individuals, including the former presidential candidate Yassir Aman, who were in favor of exempting non-Muslims from the use of Sharia or advocating a secular state. The Communist Party is regularly accused of blasphemy.

Another aspect of Sharia, which has entered into state law, is the possibility of imposing the death penalty on apostasy. However, the convicted person can avert the execution of the sentence by speaking the Islamic creed.

Under the 1992 Prison Act, the Minister of Justice, with a recommendation for parole by the Director-General of Prisons and a committee in consultation with the Ministry of Religious Orientation and Foundations, may release any prisoner who has memorized the Koran in detention. (BAMF)

Section 125 of the Sudanese Penal Code prohibits “insulting religion, incitement to hatred, and contempt for religious beliefs.” The section includes as punishments: imprisonment, fine and a maximum of 40 strokes. In December 2007, the section was used against two Egyptian booksellers. They were sentenced to six months in prison for selling a book that the court considered an insult to Aisha, a wife of the Prophet Muhammad.

In May 2005, the authorities arrested Mohammed Taha Mohammed Ahmed and accused him of violating section 125. Ahmed was the editor-in-chief of a daily newspaper Al-Wifaq. The newspaper had published an article on a 500-year-old Islamic manuscript stating that the true name of Muhammad’s father was not Abdallah, but Abdel Lat or Slave of Lat, an idol of the pre-Islamic era. A court sentenced Al-Wifaq to eight million Sudanese pounds – the newspaper closed for three months – but acquitted Ahmed. Ahmed was found beheaded in September 2006. (Wikipedia)

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