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Islamists in Sudan call for toppling government over penal code amendments

South Sudan NEWS PORTAL (JUBA CITY)

July 12 2020 (KHARTOUM) – Angry Islamist clerics in Sudan took to social media platforms following the announcement by the government that several amendments to the penal code were ratified by the Transitional Sovereignty Council (TSC).

Mohamed Ali al-Juzooli (Right)

Abdel-Hay Youssef (Top left)

Al-Tayeb Mustafa (Bottom left)

Among the most notable changes made were the repeal of the death penalty for apostasy, criminalizing Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and allowing the imbibement of alcohol by non-Muslims.

Moreover, Sudanese women will no longer be required to obtain a permit from male family members to travel with their children.

Sudanese Justice Minister Nasredeen Abdulbari said in a TV interview last night that the government “cancelled article 126 of the Sudanese penal code to ensur religious freedom and the equality in citizenship and rule of law”.

“All these changes are aimed at achieving equality in front of the laws. We dropped all articles that caused any kind of discrimination. We ensure our people that the legal reforms will continue until we scrap all laws violating human rights in Sudan” he added.

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Abdel-Hay Youssef, the ultraconservative preacher, fired a series of tweets on Sunday in which he slammed the TSC chairman Abdel-Fatah al-Burhan and his deputy Mohamed Hamdan Daglo (Hemedti).

“The issuance of amendments to the criminal law confirms to every fair [person] what those concerned said long ago that this government came as a war against virtues, and an aggression against the nation’s religion and identity” said the cleric who is believed to be in self-exile in Turkey.

Youssef called on the army and other uniformed units to step in “to defend the law of God” adding that Burhan and Hemedti “betrayed God and his messenger”.

“Uprooting this obscene government is a mandatory duty & obligation of every capable person,” he added.

The head of state of Law & Development Party (LDP) Mohamed Ali al-Juzooli echoed the call in statements he posted on his Facebook page attributed to LDP urging the armed forces to make a move and remove the government and called the latter a “foreign project”.

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Mohamed Abdel-Kareem, another Salafist figure, called for demonstrations next Friday to protest these amendments.

The head of the Just Peace Forum (JPF) al-Tayeb Mustafa said this government came “to fight God & his Messenger” and described all the cabinet ministers as “anti-Islam secularists and communists”.

He said they will work to remove these amendments and eject the government.

The current transitional government of prime minister Abdulla Hamdok took over from deposed president Omer Hassan al-Bashir who came to power in 1989 in an alliance with Islamists and used the next 30 years to enforce strict Islamic laws.

(ST)

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