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Sudan ends alcohol ban for non-Muslims and punishment for apostasy

Alcoholic beverages in an ice bucket, 29 October 2019 [Pixabay]
Alcoholic beverages in an ice bucket, 29 October 2019 [Pixabay]

Sudan’s Transitional Government has announced plans to abolish punishment for apostasy and the ban on non-Muslims drinking alcohol in the country, Sudan Tribune has reported. The changes to the law will also make Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) a crime, explained Justice Minister Nasredeen Abdulbari.

Although non-Muslims will be allowed to drink alcohol in private, the minister admitted that this could be problematic if a Muslim and non-Muslim are found drinking together, as the latter could be charged with “complicity” in a crime.

The changes have been made in the Miscellaneous Amendments Act which was approved in April. According to the Abdulbari, the delay in clarifying the changes has been due to comments made by the Soveriegn Council in Khartoum.

They alter measures introduced during the 30-year rule of ousted President Omar Al-Bashir. They have been criticised by “ultraconservative clerics” who have denounced the Transitional Government as a “foreign project” which has “betrayed God and His Messenger”. Ministers in the government, said Al-Tayeb Mustafa of the Just Peace Forum, are “Anti-Islam secularists and communists.”

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