AFRICANGLOBE – A special court in Sudan’s Darfur region has sentenced to death three men who are likely to be hanged, their bodies later crucified and publicly displayed, if the court’s decision is implemented.
The verdict was delivered on 6 May by Judge Sif Eldien Abdulrhman Ishag of the Special Criminal Court on the Events in Darfur (SCCED) in Al – Daien, East Darfur, ending the five-day trial with four court sessions.
The three convicted men include, Ibrahim Abidein, 30, Edriss Khubub and Al-Sidig Mohamed, 29, all members of the Reizegat tribe from East Darfur state.
The trio men were reportedly convicted of the murder of Ahmed Salim, a prominent community leader and mayor of the Al – Maalia, an Arab ethnic group in East Darfur, on 27 April 2013.
Under Sudanese law, however, the defendants reportedly have the right to two appeals before the SCCED.
At least 13 witnesses were reportedly interviewed during the three sessions of the trial, while the last trial was reserved for defence lawyers of the accused to submit their arguments before the judge.
The three were charged with various crimes, ranging from murder, kidnapping, armed robbery and possession of a weapon without a license, among others. They are accused of violating the Sudanese Penal Code, Weapons and Ammunition Act and Sharia laws.
Article 168 of the Sudanese Penal Code, prescribed capital punishment for armed robbery, or capital punishment followed by crucifixion, if the act results in murder.
Meanwhile, the African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies (ACJPS) has condemned the use of the death penalty in all cases, calling on the Government of Sudan to observe the global trend towards its abolition.
ACJPS, in particular, urged the Sudanese leadership to commute the death sentences, and cease the use of capital and other forms of corporal punishment, bringing Sudanese laws in line with Sudan’s international law commitments to prohibit torture and cruel, inhumane, and degrading punishment.
“ACJPS calls on the Government of Sudan to….hold the right of the accused to receive a fair trial before an independent and impartial court, and guarantee adequate legal representation,” partly reads its statement.
23 African states, in December last year, voted in favour of UN General Assembly resolution 67/176 which called for a moratorium on the death penalty.
Also in its Concluding Observations and Recommendations on the 4th and 5th Periodic Report of the Republic of Sudan adopted in 2012, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) reportedly called on Sudan to “observe the moratorium on the death penalty and take measures for its total abolition.”