Sudan has scrapped its apostasy law and lifted the ban on alcohol, after more than 30 years of Islamic rule.
The country outlined wide-reaching reforms, including allowing non-Muslims to drink alcohol, and scrapping public flogging.
“We [will] drop all the laws violating the human rights in Sudan,” Justice Minister, Nasredeen Abdulbari said.
A new set of laws were passed last week, but this is the first public explanation of what they contain.
The country also banned female genital mutilation.
Women will also no longer need permission from a male relative to travel with their children.
The reforms come after former dictator, Omar al-Bashir, was ousted last year following massive protests.
The current government is a mixture of groups which ousted Al-bashir and his former allies in the military, who staged a coup against him.
Non-Muslims will now be allowed to consume alcohol in private, however, the ban on Muslims drinking remains, Abdulbari told state TV.
But non-Muslims can still be punished if they are caught drinking with Muslims, Sudan Tribune reports.
He explained that the government is trying to safeguard the rights of the country’s non-Muslims, who constitute three percent of the population.
They are now allowed to drink, import and sell alcohol.
“We are keen to demolish any kind of discrimination that was enacted by the old regime and to move toward equality of citizenship and a democratic transformation,” he added.
The laws were initially approved in April though, the BBC said they have now taken effect.
Until now, anyone convicted of renouncing Islam, or apostasy, could face the death penalty.
One that comes to mind was the case of Meriam Yehya Ibrahim Ishag, a pregnant woman, who was sentenced to be hanged after she married a Christian in 2014.
She later managed to flee the country.
The declaration that someone was an apostate was regarded as “a threat to the security and safety of society,” Abdulbari further said.
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Under Al-Bashir, police would often carry out public flogging for various misdemeanours, which have now been abolished.
The imposition of strict Islamist laws in the 1980s was a key factor in the long-running civil war, which eventually led to independence for South Sudan, where the majority of people are Christian or follow traditional religions.