Sudan: Two boys sentenced to death by hanging

Abdelrhman Zakaria Mohamed and Ahmed Abdullah Suleiman, both aged 16 were sentenced to death by the Criminal Court in Nyala the capital of South Darfur on 3 May. Sudan ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child on 3 August 1990 and is party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Under the terms of these treaties, Sudan has undertaken not to execute anyone for an offence committed whilst under 18 years of age.

Abdelrhman Zakaria Mohamed was found guilty of 'murder', 'causing injury intentionally' and 'robbery'. Ahmed Abdullah Suleiman was found guilty of 'being an accomplice'. The boys' lawyer will submit an appeal against the sentence to the court of appeal in Nyala on 15 May.

On 28 February 2007 Abdelrhman Zakaria Mohamed is accused of breaking into a house in the Alwhad area in Nyala, armed with a knife. A man living in the house raised the alarm and three male members of the family rushed to the scene. A scuffle ensued between the family members and Abdelrhman Zakaria Mohamed. Whilst the family members attempted to restrain him, Abdelrhman Zakaria Mohamed stabbed two of the men leaving one fatally wounded.

Once the family members had managed to restrain the intruder they took him to a police station. At this point Abdelrhman Zakaria Mohamed alleged to the police that his friend Ahmed Abdullah Suleiman had also been involved in the crime. Ahmed Abdullah Suleiman was then arrested and charged as an accomplice. He was found guilty and sentenced to death.

On 6 May the two boys were transferred to Shalla Prison in Al Fashir the capital of North Darfur. This transfer is likely to affect their ability to communicate with their lawyer who is based in Nyala, South Darfur.