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Lawyers: Women arbitrarily flogged for ‘indecent dress’ in North Darfur capital

January 24 - 2018 EL FASHER
A woman is publicly flogged in Sudan (File photo)
A woman is publicly flogged in Sudan (File photo)

Lawyers in the North Darfur capital El Fasher have denounced a campaign by the military police forces in charge of the protection of El Fasher of arbitrarily extra-judiciary flogging of women and girls in the markets and the public streets on charges of wearing indecent clothing.

Residents of El Fasher said they have seen a number of women university students and employees going to work and study rooms being subjected to random flogging on charges of wearing indecent clothing.

The campaign which has lasted for days in the city has widely been denounced. The lawyers in El Fasher told Radio Dabanga that “what had happened is a flagrant violation of the law and the constitution”.

They called on the competent authorities to immediately investigate the incidents and bring the perpetrators to justice.

‘Inappropriate dress’

Many women have been tried under Article 152 of Sudan’s Penal Code. It is applied to “Whoever does in a public place an indecent act or an act contrary to public morals, or wears an obscene outfit, or contrary to public morals, or causing an annoyance to public feelings shall be punished with flogging, which may not exceed forty lashes or with fine or with both.”

On December 21 last year, the Court of Public Order in Khartoum dismissed all charges against women’s rights activist Winnie Omar, who stood accused of ‘wearing indecent clothing’. Omar was arrested on December 10, hours after attending the hearing of 24 women who had been charged with indecency for wearing trousers at a party.

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