In July 2020, the Sudanese government introduced several new progressive reforms to the criminal law, including repealing the death penalty for apostasy. While the Justice Minister announced on 11 July 2020 that Article 126, prescribing the death penalty for apostasy, is revoked, it is still unclear if apostasy has been decriminalized in full. We are currently working to clarify the matter and the content below is therefore subject to change. See this article for more information.  

Sudan commits persistent, egregious and systematic violations of freedom of thought and expression; religious discrimination is prevalent, apostasy and blasphemy are most severely penalized, and the application of public order laws allowing floggings for undefined acts of “indecency” and “immorality”.

The 1991 Criminal Code allows for floggings for undefined honour-based offences, reputation and public morality issues. Public order laws further implement the 1991 Criminal Code’s prohibitions, where religiously-grounded morality laws and corporal punishments are imposed through the Public Order Regime with violations being subject to lashes or a fine, or both.

Blasphemy is criminalised; it can be punished by six-months’ imprisonment, flogging or a fine, or both. In practice a blasphemy conviction could constitute evidence of apostasy, which until July 2020 was punishable by death.