‘Great first step’ as Sudan lifts death penalty and flogging for gay sex

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07/16/2020

Sudan’s decision to lift the death penalty and flogging as punishment for gay sex was hailed by LGBT+ activists on Thursday as a promising sign after almost four decades of Islamist rule, with calls for prison sentences to be abolished as well. Others criticised the relaxation of the law in conservative Sudan, where a transitional government has promised to lead the country to democracy after the toppling last year of autocrat Omar al-Bashir, who had been in power since 1989. “These amendments are still not enough but they’re a great first step for the transitional government that’s trying to implement changes,” Noor Sultan, founder of Bedayaa, an LGBT+ group in Egypt and Sudan, said on Thursday. “We see this as a positive change on the path to reform.” Same-sex relations are criminalised in most of Africa and the Middle East. Sudan was one of six countries, including Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Nigeria and Somalia, that imposed the death penalty for gay sex, according to the LGBT+ rights group ILGA.

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