As a move to broaden personal freedoms, Sudan has announced a new set of rather liberal rules to be followed by its citizens after more than 30 years of Islamist regime. Non-Muslims can now drink alcohol, and the apostasy law has been scrapped, including public flogging.
This means that in Sudan, non-Muslims will be allowed to consume alcohol and they are now allowed to drink, import and sell alcohol, however, the ban on Muslim drinking remains.
As the transitional government seeks to break with the rule of Omar Hassan al-Bashir, the rules were announced late Saturday by the justice minister Nasredeen Abdulbari. Bashir was deposed last year after more than three decades in power.
Ban on female genital mutilation
In another important development, the government in Sudan had already moved to ban the female genital mutilation or FMG, which is the genital cutting of women. The measure is coming into effect now.
As Sudan inches towards democracy, thousands of people had taken to the streets of Sudan amidst the coronavirus lockdown and they demanded faster reform and greater civilian rule.
Abdulbari was reported as saying that, "As a government, our work is to protect all Sudanese citizens based on the Constitution and based on laws that should be consistent with the Constitution."
He added that all laws that violate human rights in Sudan will be dropped. It was last week when the new laws were passed but this is the first public explanation of the same.
Non-Muslims make up 3 percent of Sudan's population and the government has been trying to safeguard their rights. Under the new laws, no permission is needed by women from a male relative if they wish to travel with their children.
A public order law that controlled how women acted and dressed in public was repealed in November and the latest changes have followed soon in Sudan.
On Monday, observers had stated that scrapping of the laws need to be taken into a broader context as Sudan turns a new page aiding a more comprehensive culture.