On March 19, 2021, Samah Abd Alhadi, a 13 year old girl, was killed allegedly by her father in Khartoum after demanding admission to same school with her friends . She was brutally shot by her father after being beaten according to doctors who examined the body. The father was not arrested yet as the crime was reported to police under article 51 “unknown reason of death” of the Sudanese criminal law. The police did not arrest the father as there is no law in Sudan criminalizing domestic violence against women. There is a law proposal submitted to the justice ministry proposed by the violence against women department in the social affairs ministry but it has not been approved yet.
The police statement published today called people to report any information related to the killing of the girl. Our researchers who reached out to neighbors of the victims family confirmed that the father is violent and abusive, some of them reported hearing the sisters of the victim crying saying “ our father killed our sister.” The family claimed that Samah killed her self while playing with a gun in the house.
According to some reports, Khartoum state police receive more than 20 cases of violence against women everyday, mostly domestic violence by partners and family members. The lack of laws criminalizing domestic violence in Sudan and the society norms prevented thousands of women from reaching to police to report their incidents of violence.
Sudan Women Rights Action call the Sudanese government to:
– Ensure independent and unbiased investigation on the killing of Samah Abdalhadi .
-Immediately approve the proposed violence against law and ensure including provisions clearly criminalize domestic violence with .
– Create a safety network that ensure Sudanese women victims of violence can be protected from family revenge in cases of reporting domestic violence. The main component of this network is the need for creation of safe houses for women victims of SGBV.
– Reform the laws and legislations to ensure women access to justice including the Criminal Procedure Act and the Muslim Personal Law of 1991.
– Reform the judicial system and law enforcement forces and train them to respond to cases of violence against women.