Monthly Archives: September 2014

Sexuality , Politics And Religion and Society

a rainbow sudan logo

Although the many achievements and success of the on-going and previous LGBTQI movements and organizations in the West, and Europe the LGBTQI communities   in other parts such as Africa still deprived of basic human and social rights. Intolerance and discrimination towards homosexuality is especially in conservative religious countries, such as Sudan is one of the countries that been severely oppressing the LGBTQI communities by criminalizing all homosexual activities or relationships.

In Sudan, homosexuality is clearly in the Islamic Sharia law defined as illegal in the judicial system. According to Article 148 of the 1991 penal code, the law also punishes anyone convicted for anal sex. This applies to both between two men or heterosexual couples. Once convicted, individuals face punishment is lashing, imprisonment and death penalty.

Legal Situation

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) persons in Sudan face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. Both male and female same-sex sexual activity is illegal in Sudan.

The Criminal Act, 1991 provides as follows

Law regarding same-sex sexual activity

Same-sex sexual activity is illegal in Sudan. The Criminal Act, 1991 provides as follows:[1]

   Article 19. Attempt is the commission of an act which apparently indicates the intention to commit an offence, where the offence has not been consumated, due to a cause beyond the offender’s will.

   Article 20. (1) Whoever attempts to commit an offence shall be punished with imprisonment, for a term, which may not exceed one-half of the maximum term prescribed for that offence….

       (2) Where the penalty of any one offence is death …, punishment for attempt thereof shall be imprisonment, for a term, not exceeding seven years.

   Article 148. (1) There shall be deemed to commit sodomy, every man who penetrates his glans, or the equivalent thereof, in the anus of … another man’s, or permits another man to penetrate his glans, or its equivalent, in his anus.

       (2)(a) whoever commits the offence of sodomy, shall be punished, with whipping[Note 1] a hundred lashes, and he may also be punished with imprisonment for a term, not exceeding five years;

           (b) where the offender is convicted for the second time, he shall be punished, with whipping a hundred lashes, and with imprisonment, for a term, not exceeding five years;

           (c) where the offender is convicted for the third time, he shall be punished, with death, or with life imprisonment.

   Article 151. (1) There shall be deemed to commit the offence of gross indecency, whoever … does any sexual act, with another person not amounting to … sodomy, and he shall be punished, with whipping, not exceeding forty lashes, and he may also be punished, with imprisonment, for a term, not exceeding one year, or with fine.

       (2) Where the offence of gross indecency is committed in a public place … the offender shall be punished, with whipping not exceeding eighty lashes, and he may also be punished, with imprisonment, for a term, not exceeding two years, or with fine.

   Article 152. (1) Whoever commits, in a public place, an act, or conducts himself in an indecent manner, or a manner contrary to public morality, or wears an indecent, or immoral dress, which causes annoyance to public feelings, shall be punished, with whipping, not exceeding forty lashes, or with fine, or with both.

       (2) The act shall be deemed contrary to public morality, if it is so considered in the religion of the doer, or the custom of the country where the act occurs.

Under this penal system, being homosexual in Sudan is high risk, and if an individuals is labeled as a homosexuals, they will be un erasable stigma which brings lots of serious consequences and will face severe punishment according to the Islamic not only that but also experience social rejection which further brings about serious social and economic consequences. Since homosexuality is generally considered as abnormal psychological behavior and a sin, homosexuals are usually effects there educational opportunities and employment. And even from their family and community and often times even murdered by so called ‘honor killings’ which is generally done by close family members. For this reason, many LGBTQI people in Sudan constantly attempt to change their sexuality to meet the societal expectations and it is a very rare occurrence when one talks about or reveals his/her real sexuality most of them hide their identity and forced to lead a double life.

Implementation of the penal code


     Regardless of the frequency of the implementation of so called sodomy laws, their more existence usually results in a worsened situation for LGBT persons. In Sudan, the accusation of being homosexual is sometimes used to blackmail somebody or to smear political opponents.

Case 1
The case of the 12 Freedom Sudan members

   Ali, a co-founder and the president of Freedom Sudan (Sudan LGBT association) wrote about his own terrifying story in the organization website, in April 2009 and while Ali and 11 of his friends (2 women and 9 men) were holding a private party in the residency of one of them, agents from intelligence agency raided their party and caught them all and then took them to an unknown place. There, as Ali tells, each of them was put in solitary confinement “cells of 1.5 meters long walls” he says under highly unsanitary conditions and he was deprived from water and food for 2 days straight.

The case of the 19 Cross-dressing men flogged in Sudan for being ‘womanly’

       A famous incident took place In August 2010

     when 19 men were flogged publically and fined after being caught by Alnezam Alaam (Public Order Police) in a private party celebrating the wedding of two homosexual men in Khartoum. This group of young men have been publicly flogged in the Capital Khartoum after they were convicted of wearing women’s clothes and make-up. The court said the 19 men had broken Sudan’s strict public morality codes.

Sudanese Police arrests models after mixed gender fashion show

Sudanese police arrested more than two dozen people overnight as they emerged from the capital’s first ever mixed-gender fashion show.

One young model, among those asked to appear before the prosecution he said after his release that he was insulted by prison guards.

“In prison, the guards called me ‘you gay bitch’,” said the man who asked that his name not be published. “In our culture this is a really bad word. It is humiliating.


Case 4

   In the 4th of December 2012 Karary Criminal Court issued under the chairmanship of Maulana Imam Juma Abdullah a strict penalties against three young gay men, the first of them convicted of crimes outrageous acts of seduction and possession of materials and exhibits against public morality. The court convicted the second and third defendants of committing a crime of sodomy under Article (841) of the Criminal Code, and caused the first convicted and send him to prison for (7) years for the crime of seduction after it ascertained from his involvement according to evidence submitted to the court.

Case 5

     In 19th of February 2013 9 gay men were arrested, two of them accused of hassle and scandalous acts under Article 77/152 Sudanese criminal law and 5 of them accused of possession of indecent material under Article 153.

   The 9 men were celebrating in privet apartment in Khartoum when they got arrested. The police report mention that they found shisha, coffee , drums and mobile phones belonging to the defendants that contains obscene movies and pornographic images which had been captured of the defendants.

Social Situation

Negative attitudes towards homosexuality is common in a countries like Sudan. Strong religious and social traditions in many places in the country severely threaten LGBT community members. Living in fear or uncertainty, the violations of human rights, informal discrimination and lack of power that Sudanese LGBT people are subjected to often cause a high level of anxiety and psychological stress among them.


The religious influence

The religious influence on the Sudanese society   a country in which more then 60% percent of the population are Sunni Muslims with the dominance of Maliki school teachings, homosexual activities are understood in the context of the Qur’an. The story of the “people of Lot” (also known as the people of Sodom and Gomorrah) cited in the Qur’an is especially important to explain how homosexuality is perceived and treated in Sudan. According to this story, the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed by the wrath of God because their citizens engaged in “lustful” homosexual acts. This story has been used in many Islam teachings, and even though different Islam schools offer different answers to the question of how homosexuality should be treated, homosexuality in the Islamic world is widely viewed as synonymous with deviance, pathology and unforgivable sin that will trigger God’s wrath. Among the schools, the Maliki school which is dominant in the Sudan is well-known for its extreme view on homosexual identities and activities. Its teaching that argues that death should the only answer to homosexuals explains the current treatment and the status of the LGBTQI population in the country. Under the name of religion and god, the society denies the existence of LGBTQI population and continuously controls individual’s sexuality both through state law and shame in the private sphere.

Government Attitude:

The Sudanese Government voted against ILGA (International Gay and Lesbian Association) application for ECOSOC status in the UN in 2002.Sudan was also one of the countries that voted directly against the UN declaration on sexual orientation and gender identity in 2008.

In November 2010, Sudan voted on an amendment to remove sexual orientation out of a UN document calling on governments to prevent extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions. The document was adopted despite objections that Homo- and Transphobia so many times are the motives for extrajudicial killings, and that the removal of the definition will make it even more difficult to ensure that states live up to their legal obligations.

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