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News and Press ReleasesUK parliament press release on Sudan - urging for religious freedom

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UK parliament press release on Sudan - urging for religious freedom

07-28-2014, 08:59 PM
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UK parliament press release on Sudan - urging for religious freedom

    and#65532;PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE JULY 24 2014
    British law makers are urging Sudan to reform its laws to respect freedom of religion. The call comes following the recent court case in which a Christian woman, Meriam Yahya Ibrahim Ishag, was sentenced to hang for apostasy. The case provoked condemnation around the world, and led to Ms. Ibrahim’s eventual release. The lawmakers believe that underlying issues still need to be addressed.
    More than 50 Members of the UK Parliament have signed a motion recommending that Sudan reviews its entire penal code to bring it into line with Sudan’s 2005 interim constitution, which guarantees freedom of religion. Signatories of the motion include parliamentarians from all three major political parties including, Sir Menzies Campbell, former leader of the Liberal Democrat Party, Mark Durkan, the former Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland and Henry Bellingham, former Foreign Office Minister for Africa.
    The motion in the UK legislative assembly calls on Sudan to repeal Article 126 which criminalises apostasy in contradiction to Sudan’s national and international commitments. The fifty seven lawmakers who signed the motion also believe Sudan’s wider penal code should be brought into line with the international treaties signed by the Sudanese government, such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and Article 38 of Sudan’s interim constitution. The lawmakers called upon the Government of Sudan to “review the entire penal code to ensure other contradictions with the constitution and international commitment are addressed”. They emphasised that Sudan has a rich cultural heritage where people of many faiths and backgrounds once lived peacefully together.
    Full Text of Early Day Motion 70
    That this House resolutely deplores a Sudanese court's sentencing of Meriam Yahya Ibrahim Ishag to death by hanging for apostasy and 100 lashes for adultery; strongly urges Sudan's legal authorities to immediately and unconditionally overturn Ms. Ishag's sentence; notes the joint statement by the embassies of the US, the UK, Canada and the Netherlands expressing concern over the verdict and calling for the government of Sudan to respect the right to freedom of religion; reminds the government of Sudan of its statutory commitment to the right to freedom of religion, including the right of citizens to peacefully follow the faith of their choice, as a State Party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, under article 38 of Sudan's interim constitution and under Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; calls on the government of Sudan to repeal Articles 126 and 146 of the Criminal Code that criminalise apostasy and adultery respectively and to review the entire penal code to ensure other contradictions with the constitution and international commitment are addressed; and anticipates a new constitution that respects Sudan's richly multi- faith and multi-cultural population in which citizens have the right to peacefully follow the faith of their choice without fear of persecution.
    Notes to editors:
    and#61623; Early Day Motion 70: The full text and listr of signatories can be found on the parliamentary
    website here: http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2014-15/71
    and#61623; About the APG: The Associate Parliamentary Group for Sudan and South Sudan is an all- party political pressure group that seeks to influence the UK Governmentand#700;s policy and practice by promoting the cause of peace, human rights, justice and development for all the people of Sudan and South Sudan across the political spectrum in Westminster and Whitehall.
    Based in Westminster, the Group has established a growing membership of nearly 100 British MPs and Peers across political parties. In addition, the Group has an active wider membership including Sudanese individuals and associations, non-governmental organisations, academics, researchers, media and human rights groups. Since its inception in 1998 the group has acted as the key forum in Parliament for actively debating and highlighting key issues.
                  

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