♦ This week's news in brief ♦
A compact weekly digest of Dabanga Sudan's highlights of the news from Darfur and Sudan
♦ Activist arrested after court drops charges against 24 women in trousers
December 12 – 2017 KHARTOUM The Khartoum district court has acquitted 24 girls and women from the criminal charge of wearing indecent clothes at a party in southern Khartoum. Meanwhile, the Public Order Court in Khartoum adjourned the trial of a women’s rights activist accused of wearing indecent clothing on Monday.
The public order police appeared at the scene of a party in southern Khartoum last Wednesday evening and caught 24 women wearing trousers. This is considered ‘indecent’ under Article 152 of the Criminal Code and punishable with lashes and a fine. But during the court session that took place on Sunday, the prosecution dropped their charges and did not discuss them further.
The Public Order Act is criticised by women rights activists in Sudan and abroad. Speaking to Radio Dabanga, one of the leaders of the No Suppression for Women Initiative, Amira Osman, had appealed to activists to attend the trial on Sunday.
Winnie Omar, a women's rights activist, was also arrested for wearing indecent clothes on Monday. Speaking to Radio Dabanga, Omar said that the public order police took her to their office in El Deim. “They took my clothes, a skirt and a blouse, as exhibits I changed clothes in the cell.” Her phone and laptop, which she carried with her, were searched despite her objections that the type of charge does not give the police the right to search them.
♦ Pharmacists warn of medicine scarcity in Sudan
December 11 - 2017 KHARTOUM The prevalence of expired medicines in hospitals in Khartoum leads to direct health risks for patients. The current medicine crisis is exacerbating, with hospitals being unable to purchase medicines.
Medical sources in Khartoum reported that the available dialysis solutions will be depleted within a week from now, which they think will pose a direct risk to kidney patients. They told Radio Dabanga that large quantities of expired injections have been withdrawn from the hospitals recently. A medical source in Khartoum said that a board of pharmacology and toxicology had announced that there is not enough U.S. Dollar stock to finance the purchase of medicines.
In the past three months, the rise in the prices of medicines has increased by 200 percent, the health committee of the Sudanese parliament said. Pharmacies face the decision to close their doors because people are reluctant to buy expensive medicines. Some people have resorted to alternatives such as traditional medicines. “Patients with a low income have stopped buying medicines and resorted to herbs,” Awad Mohamed, a pharmacist in Khartoum, explained.
New austerity measures in Sudan starting November 2016 have led to huge increases in prices of medicines, fuel, electricity, and food. Sudanese people responded with large-scale civil disobedience actions in November and December last year. Representatives of the Sudanese government at the time said that economic sanctions of the United States against Sudan -- which were lifted last October -- blocked its companies from buying their medicines.
More news from Radio Dabanga:
December 12 - 2017 KHARTOUM The United States Embassy in Khartoum had to cancel a public open-air jazz concert on Sunday and moved it to a hall for a private event, following the US' recent decision to recognise Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.Two girls raped in West Darfur
December 11 - 2017 FORO BARANGA Two girls were raped in Foro Baranga in West Darfur on Saturday.
December 10 - 2017 OMDURMAN A student who has been detained by the security service for more than fifteen weeks, has reported to be suffering from torture and he lost vision in one of his eyes.
December 10 - 2017 KHARTOUM The Central Bank of Sudan ordered banks to freeze the assets of dozens of Sudanese people and companies. The State Security Prosecution charged them for trading currencies, against the Central Bank’s instructions.
December 8 - 2017 AMSTERDAM The Dutch immigration service deported Sudanese migrant Samal El Tijani to Sudan on Thursday. Three others are awaiting the completion of their deportation and the journey back to Sudan.
December 8 - 2017 MISTERIYA / KABKABIYA A Unamid mission verifying reports of civilian casualties during intense fighting was initially barred from entering Kabkabiya in North Darfur. “They were not allowed to speak to residents.”
December 7 - 2017 KHARTOUM The Ministry of Health of Khartoum has announced that it has screened thousands of pregnant women for HIV/AIDS this year. Dozens of bogus doctors have also been arrested.
December 7 - 2017 EL JIREIF EAST Six people were injured and seven others arrested in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum on Wednesday after renewed clashes between residents of El Jireif east and police over the demolition of brick factories.
December 6 - 2017 KHARTOUM The Sudanese Journalists’ Network called a one-day strike on Tuesday to protest the campaign of newspaper confiscations that is entering its second week. 70 per cent of them responded to the call to ‘down pens’.
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