Sudan: Execution of nine potentially innocent men shows flaws of death penalty

The Sudanese government has executed nine people who may have been innocent, said Amnesty International today, in reaction to the killing of nine men convicted of murder after they were tortured to confess to the crime.  

On 2 April, Sudan’s Constitutional Court confirmed the death sentences of the nine men, who were found guilty of the murder of newspaper editor Mohamed Taha in September 2006.

The men said they had been tortured to confess to the murder and were forced to sign confessions, which were later produced in court. They all retracted their confessions in court, but the Appeals Court still accepted the confessions as evidence against them handed down death sentences.

Requests by defence lawyers for medical examinations into the allegations of torture were refused, even though many of men had marks of torture.

“The execution of the nine men is outrageous. They were arbitrarily arrested, tortured and then subjected to an unfair trial,” said Tawanda Hondora, Africa Deputy Director at Amnesty International.

“This case is a tragic example of what happens when an irreversible punishment such as the death penalty is applied,” said Tawanda Hondora. “The Sudanese authorities must abolish the death penalty immediately.”   Background Information The nine men executed in Sudan yesterday were: Ishaq Mohammed Sanousi, Abdel Hay Omar, Mustafa Adam,Mohammed Birgid,Hassan Adam Fadel, Adam Ibrahim, Jamaleddin Isa, Abdel Magid Ali Abdel Magid and Sabir Hassan.