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Sudanese legislation criminalizes gender nonconformity as stated in Article 152 of the penal code. While specific data on arrests of transgender individuals is lacking, documented evidence shows that LGBTQIA+ individuals, including transgender individuals, have been subjected to state violence, including extrajudicial killings. Legal constraints limit the availability of gender-affirming healthcare services, and transgender individuals lack legal recognition. The ongoing conflict in Sudan intensifies the challenges experienced by transgender individuals, hindering their access to basic rights and healthcare. Furthermore, the reliance on Sunni Fatwas by the state further obstructs the opportunity for transitioning.

Explicit: Sudanese legislation imposes penalties for wearing clothing that is deemed “indecent, contrary to public mores, or causes discomfort,” including 40 lashes or a fine. The criteria for determining the legality of such an offense are based on the individual’s religious beliefs or the cultural customs of the nation.

(1)Whoever commits, in a public place, an act, or conducts himself in an indecent manner, or a manner contrary to public morality, or wears an indecent, or immoral dress, which causes annoyance to public feelings, shall be punished, with whipping, not exceeding forty lashes, or with fine, or with both.

(2): The act shall be deemed contrary to public morality, if it is so considered in the religion of the doer, or the custom of the country where the act occurs. 

August 2010: 19 people were captured and sentenced to 30 lashes and a fine after the Khartoum court found them guilty of “assaulting general mores by wearing women’s clothes and makeup”. 

There is currently no existing legal framework in Sudan that allows transgender individuals to pursue legal gender recognition. Our research has yielded no evidence of any individuals attempting to modify the gender marker on their official documents.

Unfortunately, we were unable to obtain the specific provisions regarding the modification or correction of civil status records in Sudan. However, there have been reports indicating the formation of a committee responsible for granting temporary registration to unregistered individuals and rectifying errors in the civil registry, including gender-related discrepancies. Nevertheless, it is highly improbable that this committee extends its services to transgender individuals, given that gender nonconformity is criminalized in Sudan.

No known cases of attempts to obtain legal gender recognition in Sudan have been found.

There is a lack of legal framework governing the accessibility of gender affirming healthcare in Sudan. According to activists, transgender and intersex individuals in the country continue to face barriers in accessing appropriate healthcare, with providers choosing to refrain from offering such services due to potential legal repercussions, despite the absence of any explicit legislation prohibiting this form of healthcare.

There are no specific fatwas pertaining to transgender individuals that have been issued by the religious authorities in the country. However, considering that the country follows Sunni Islam, the fatwas issued by esteemed Sunni authorities, such as Al-Azhar in Egypt and the Islamic Fiqh Council in Saudi Arabia, are deemed relevant. These fatwas prohibit transgender individuals from seeking gender-affirming healthcare and restrict sex reassignment surgeries exclusively to intersex individuals.

Due to the ongoing conflict in Sudan, transgender individuals are confronted with elevated risks and challenges, including the threat of extrajudicial capture and killing. Securing fundamental rights, such as access to essential services and appropriate healthcare, poses a significant challenge. Despite the well-documented cultural visibility of transgender individuals in the societal consciousness, endeavors to achieve broader recognition by the state are perilous due to the state’s adherence to Sunni Fatwas that unequivocally prohibit gender transition. Given the ongoing conflict, the aforementioned legislation is applicable within the territories under the control of the government.