Sudan Emergency Court orders nine women protesters flogged
An Emergency Court in Khartoum sentenced nine women protesters to 20 lashes each on Saturday for participating in an unauthorised anti-government demonstration, according to defence lawyers. The sentence has not yet been carried out pending an appeal.
The court’s ruling on Saturday came just hours after Sudan’s President Omar Al Bashir, in a gesture to mark International Women’s Day, ordered the head of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS), which has been central to the suppression of protests, to release all women who have been detained in connection with the protests.
The nine women protesters were taken to court after they were arrested on Thursday for participating in a “banned demonstration” earlier that day in the eastern district of Burri.
“The women have been sentenced to one month in jail and 20 lashes,” their defence lawyer, Enam Ateeg, told reporters. “They have been taken to the women’s prison in Omdurman.” She assured that an appeal against the verdict will be filed on Sunday.
Sudan’s Democratic Lawyers Alliance confirmed the sentences in a statement, however the alliance pointed out: “Following pressure from their lawyers the court has still not implemented the floggings”.
Emergency Courts have been established to deal with cases related to the State of Emergency proclaimed in Sudan.
The Democratic Lawyers Alliance reported last week that the Sudanese authorities have transferred 870 people to Emergency Courts in Khartoum, Omdurman, and Khartoum North, on charges of participating in demonstrations.
The alliance reported that 400 people have been referred to the Emergency Court in Omdurman, 70 to Emergency Courts in Khartoum North and 400 to the Emergency Courts in Khartoum.
Since mid-December last year, Sudan has experienced ongoing popular protests that have spread to towns and cities across the country.
Dozens of civilians have been killed, hundreds injured, and unknown thousands detained as the Sudanese security forces routinely respond to peaceful protests with tear gas, batons, and live ammunition.
The Sudanese Professionals Association – major movers behind the popular uprising and protests – and other forces signatory to the Declaration of Freedom and Change confirmed their unwavering commitment to the unconditional step-down of Al Bashir and his regime, the dismantling of repressive institutions, and the handover of power to a transitional civilian national government.
State of Emergency
Last week, Al Bashir declared a year-long State of Emergency in Sudan, and dissolved the federal government and state governments. In six Republican Decrees, Al Bashir dissolved the national Council of Ministers, assigned the Secretaries General and Undersecretaries of Ministries to run the work of their ministries, assigned a new ‘government of competencies’, relieved the Walis (governors) of the states, dissolved the governments of the states, and appointed high-ranking police, security, and military officers as the new Walis of the states.
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