hobbits_friend wrote in ontd_political

Sudan Allows Alcohol Consumption After 30 Years of Islamic Law

Sudan abolished a law against apostasy that carried the death penalty  and loosened prohibitions on drinking alcohol, removing some of the  most notorious restrictions of ousted dictator Omar al-Bashir’s Islamist  rule.

Authorities have also officially outlawed female genital  mutilation, a step previously announced, Justice Minister Nasur Aldin  Abdul Bari said Saturday in an interview on state TV. It was the first  widely publicized explanation of the amendments made last week.

“We are keen to demolish any kind of discrimination that was  enacted by the old regime and to move toward equality of citizenship and  a democratic transformation,” Abdul Bari said. Punishment by whipping,  commonly enacted by morality police for alleged infractions during  Bashir’s reign, was also abolished.

Bashir,  who turned Sudan into an international pariah after seizing power in  1989, was overthrown by the army in April last year amid mass protests.  The youth that drove the demonstrations have since pushed ahead with a  low-level revolution against the country’s social conservatism, often  leaving the transitional government of military and civilian officials  racing to catch up.

Under the new laws, Sudan’s Christians would be able to drink, import and sell alcohol, Abdul Bari said.

In  one of the most notorious instances of the apostasy law being applied, a  pregnant Christian woman in 2014 received a death sentence after  refusing to renounce her faith in favor of Islam. She was eventually  freed and left Sudan after a global outcry.

The justice minister also said the government is studying calls to hand over Sudanese citizens wanted by the International Criminal Court,  including Bashir, who was jailed for two years for corruption but  indicted by The Hague-based institution for alleged war crimes in  Darfur.

“The entire government is studying the many ways of how to  prosecute the Darfur crimes,” Abdul Bari said, but has “in general  accepted the principle of them appearing in front of the ICC.”


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