JOHANNESBURG – Human rights groups have called for Sudan to abolish death by stoning as prescribed legal punishment after a young woman convicted of adultery was ordered executed by a Sudanese court.

The woman, Intisar Sharif Abdallah, who is married, gave birth five months ago and is currently being held, with her baby, outside Khartoum, according to Human Rights Watch.

“No one should be stoned to death, and imposing this punishment on someone who may be a child is especially shocking,” said Daniel Bekele, Africa director for Human Rights Watch.

Abdallah’s age has not been verified, although Sudanese rights groups suggest she may be under the age of 18. Under Sudanese law, a minor cannot be sentenced to death, and a defendant is entitled to a lawyer.

A statement by Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa, a women’s rights group following the case, said Abdallah admitted guilt after she was beaten and tortured by her brother, who instigated the case against her. The conviction is based solely on her admission under duress, the groups say.

Amnesty International issued an urgent request for people to send letters to Sudanese authorities before July 6, calling for the execution to be halted.