Types of criminalisation

  • Criminalises sex between men
  • Criminalises sex between women
  • Death penalty applies
Penal Code 1991, Section 148 Sodomy

Section 148 prohibits sodomy with a penalty of flogging (100 lashes) and five years imprisonment. When the offence is committed three times the punishment is life imprisonment or the death penalty. The provision is only applicable to sexual intercourse between men.1

Penal Code 1991, Section 151 Indecent Acts

Section 151 criminalises “indecent acts”, that is sexual acts not amounting to sodomy, with a penalty of up to 40 lashes and up to one year imprisonment. The law is equally applicable to acts between men and between women.2

Enforcement

2017

The US Department of State Human Rights Report for Sudan has not found any recent enforcement of the laws by the authorities. However, the report states that LGBT organisations increasingly felt pressured to suspend or alter their activities due to threat of harm and several LGBT persons felt compelled to leave the country due to fear of persecution, intimidation, or harassment.

2014

The UK Foreign Office Human Rights and Democracy report found some press reports indicating the arrest of individuals on account of their sexuality.

2012

The 2012 UK Home Office Country of Origin Report provides some limited examples of arrests.

Statements by Public Figures

2012

Government officials allegedly blamed Sudan’s rising HIV rate on gay students, whilst opposition leaders accused the government of  “creating an education system that ‘promotes’ homosexuality and AIDS”.

Persecution and Discrimination

2017

The US Department of State Human Rights Report for Sudan suggested that anti-gay sentiment is pervasive in Sudanese society.

In October, a man was arrested at a social event for wearing “indecent” female clothes and makeup. He was sentenced to 40 lashes and a fine of 5,000 SDG ($625).

Marwa Altijani, a journalist-blogger, was arrested in September under the charges of apostasy for publishing an article online in which she asserted: “Nothing is wrong with being a lesbian.”

2014

A July report by the Austrian Centre for Country of Origin and Asylum Research and Documentation (ACCORD) includes a number of reports interviewing LGBT individuals from the country. Those reports emphasise the need for discretion due to societal discrimination. One report suggests that honour killings can occur.

Legislative News

2016

During its second UPR cycle, Sudan noted the only recommendation it received concerning the elimination of discriminatory provisions affecting LGBT persons.

2011

There were no recommendations made to decriminalise same-sex sexual activity between consenting adults during Sudan’s first UPR cycle.

Footnotes
1. Penal Code 1991, Section 148 Sodomy

“(1) Any man who inserts his penis or its equivalent into a woman’s or a man’s anus or permitted another man to insert his penis or its equivalent in his anus is said to have committed Sodomy.
(2) (a) Whoever commits Sodomy shall be punished with fogging one hundred lashes and he shall also be liable to five years imprisonment.
(b) If the offender is convicted for the second time he shall be punished with fogging one hundred lashes and imprisonment for a term which may not exceed five years.
(c) If the offender is convicted for the third time he shall be punished with death or life imprisonment.” Full text.

2. Penal Code 1991, Section 151 Indecent Acts

“Whoever commits an act of gross indecency upon the person of another person or any sexual act which does not amount to Zina or Sodomy shall be punished with not more than forty lashes and shall also be liable for imprisonment for a term which may not exceed one year or fine.” Full text.

Keep in Touch

Sign up to our newsletter for updates on key legal challenges to anti-LGBT laws around the world, news on the reform of discriminatory laws in the Commonwealth, comment from our Director on landmark judgments and employment opportunities at the Trust.

SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER