Khartoum: Intisar, a teenage student from Yambio in southern Sudan has been sentenced by a court in the Kalaka suburb of Khartoum to 100 lashes for adultery after giving birth to a child out of wedlock.
Intisar was originally sentenced in July 2003, while seven months pregnant. She appealed against the sentence, but the appeal court upheld it in August. Intisar's baby was born in September, and her sentence would have been carried out on 20 December, but was postponed due to her deteriorating health. The alleged father of the child, a 23-year-old former policeman, is said to have promised to marry Intisar and take her to live abroad. In an interview with the news agency Agence France Presse, Intisar said her mother had tried in vain to persuade the man to marry her and to sign a statement admitting responsibility for the child. Instead he denied ever having met her, and according to the version of Islamic law practiced in Sudan, this denial was sufficient to exonerate him, since Intisar was unable to produce four malewitnesses to verify her version of events.
Intisar is due to be flogged on 23 January 2004. If carried out, the sentence would constitute a violation of Sudan's undertakings under several international conventions, including the Convention Against Torture andother Cruel, Inhuman or Degraading Treatment or Punishment(CAT- which Sudan has signed but has yet to ratify), and such binding legislation as the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).