Sudan takes reform road, breaking away with decades old regressive laws

Pure drinking water

Sudan welcomes news reformist laws in order to break itself free of over 30 years of regressive laws, imposed in the name of religion. The African country, which has been governed by strict Islamist rule for over 3 decades, is currently in transition becoming a more free society. It is under transition taking a U-turn from violating human rights to abiding them. Last week, Sudanese legislature passed a series of progressive laws including, allowing non-Muslims to consume alcohol in private, and abolishing the apostasy law, public flogging, and female genital mutilation (FGM). Besides, as per the new laws, women doesn’t need to take permission from a male family member or relative to travel with their children.

With regard to the new wave of reforms, Justice Minister Nasredeen Abdulbari said, “We [will] drop all the laws violating the human rights in Sudan.” Abdulbari, while explaining some of the new laws told media that though Non-Muslims can drink, sell or import alcohol but they still could not drink with a Muslim, and if caught otherwise they would be subject to punishment.

Read More: FGM is now a criminal act in Sudan

He said that with the new changes government was trying to protect the rights of the country’s non-Muslims, who comprise about 3% of the population. Abdulbari added, “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.” Speaking about the cruelty of the earlier apostasy lawhe said it was “a threat to the security and safety of society.” As per some analyst, these legal reforms received green signal in April but they have been enforced only now.The new reforms came after a restrictive public order law, which dominated and controlled women’s lives including how they behaved and dressed in public, was annulled in November. It is a phenomenal victory for a nation which for over 30 years struggled under the dictates of Omar al-Bashir,who was ousted last year following mass street protests.



Raven Ruma is a professional journalist with a keen eye on domestic and foreign situations. His favorite pastime is to keep the public informed about the current situation through his pen and he is fulfilling this responsibility through the platform of Arab News.

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