Home | News    Monday 11 November 2013

Calls for Sudan to end flogging of women

separation
increase
decrease
separation
separation

November 10, 2013 (KHARTOUM)– UN independent experts have urged Sudan to end flogging punishments for women accused of so called moral crimes, stressing that the practice amounts to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment that goes against international law.

Premarital sex, adultery, failure to prove rape, dressing ‘indecently’ or other behaviour deemed immoral, are all grounds for flogging in Sudan, as well as various other parts of the world”, the special rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, Rashida Manjoo, said.

Last Monday, Amira Osman Hamed, a 35-year-old Sudanese civil engineer and women’s rights activist, was charged with dressing indecently for refusing to cover her hair with a headscarf. If found guilty, she could be sentenced to up to 40 lashes.

Hamed remains in legal limbo following Monday’s hearing as the prosecution weighs up whether additional hearings will take place or if the case will be dismissed.

Her case has drawn international condemnation from civil rights groups after attracting headlines around the world.

Hamid is charged under Sudan’s public order law (POL) governing morality, which took effect after the 1989 Islamist-backed coup by president Omer Hassan al-Bashir. The law allows for flogging as a punishment for any acts viewed as offending morals.

She has remained defiant and has refused to cover her hair, saying she is prepared to face a flogging to defend her rights.

Her case is reminiscent to that of journalist Lubna Ahmed al-Hussein, who was arrested in 2009 for wearing trousers in public.

In a bid to shine the spotlight on Sudan’s POL, Hussein resigned from her post at the then United Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) in order to waive her immunity so the case could go to trial.

Hussein escaped a flogging sentence after her case sparked a global outcry, but she was subsequently jailed after refusing to pay a fine of 500 Sudanese pounds (about $US200). The Sudanese Journalists’ Union later paid the fine on her behalf, but other women rounded up with her in a restaurant were flogged.

The POL has been denounced by politicians and activists who say that it violates citizens’ fundamental rights.

Renowned Sudanese journalist and columnist, Faisal Mohamed Saleh, who is a recent winner of the Peter Mackler award for courageous and ethical journalism, described the POL as “the worst law on earth”.

According to the UN experts, women disproportionally face the punishment as a result of rampant gender discrimination.

“Given continued discrimination and inequalities faced by women, including inferior roles attributed to them by patriarchal and traditional attitudes, and power imbalances in their relations with men, maintaining flogging as a form of punishment, even when it applies to both women and men, means in practice that women disproportionally face this cruel punishment, in violation of their human rights to dignity, privacy and equality,” said Frances Raday, the chairperson of the working group on the issue of discrimination against women in law and in practice.

In a joint statement, both experts called for Hamed’s immediate release, urging the Sudanese government to review its legislation related to flogging.

A video posted on YouTube and circulated by media outlets recently shows a Sudanese woman being flogged by a police officer after she was found riding in a car with a man she was not related to.

The footage, believed to have been filmed in the Sudanese capital Khartoum, shows an unidentified woman cowering on the floor and crying out in pain, as she is lashed and taunted in front of a watching crowd.

The UN experts said that under international human rights law, corporal punishment can amount to cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment - even torture, and states therefore cannot invoke provisions of domestic law to justify violations of their human rights obligations under international law.

They said the punishment was often used as a way of curtailing women’s choices and freedoms.

“Corporal punishment of women and girls is usually linked to the control and limitation of their freedom of movement, freedom of association, as well as their personal and sexual choices. Punishment usually has a collective dimension, and is public in character, as the visibility of the issue also serves a social objective, namely, influencing the conduct of other women”, the experts said in the statement.

“We call on states to abolish all forms of judicial and administrative corporal punishment, and to act with due diligence to prevent, respond to, protect against, and provide redress for all forms of gender-based violence”, it adds.

(ST)

Comments on the Sudan Tribune website must abide by the following rules. Contravention of these rules will lead to the user losing their Sudan Tribune account with immediate effect.

- No inciting violence
- No inappropriate or offensive language
- No racism, tribalism or sectarianism
- No inappropriate or derogatory remarks
- No deviation from the topic of the article
- No advertising, spamming or links
- No incomprehensible comments

Due to the unprecedented amount of racist and offensive language on the site, Sudan Tribune tries to vet all comments on the site.

There is now also a limit of 400 words per comment. If you want to express yourself in more detail than this allows, please e-mail your comment as an article to comment@sudantribune.com

Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 11 November 2013 09:34, by Akol Liai Mager

    Who doesn’t know that Islamic Law only punishes Women and pocket-picks, not Adultery men and accounts-picks with pens in billions? The former Governor of Kassala is a bank of all what I am talking about here.

    repondre message

  • 11 November 2013 09:44, by Abyei Propaganda

    Shut up! These women enjoy the freedom they deserve on earth.

    repondre message

    • 11 November 2013 11:14, by Akol Liai Mager

      So, brutally flogging women in an open air and their screams "mummy!!, yayomma!! is the freedom they enjoy and deserve? This religion call Islam has really done terrible things to the mankind and its peace. may God protect me from this evil Amen!!

      repondre message

Comment on this article



The following ads are provided by Google. SudanTribune has no authority on it.


s
Sudan Tribune

Promote your Page too

Latest Comments & Analysis


National Dialogue: A necessity for post-war South Sudan 2017-08-23 09:15:50 By Ambassador/ Dhano Obongo South Sudan, the newest nation in the world which gained its independence on July 9th 2011, was supported worldwide including Sudan that respected the will of South (...)

The New Sudan’s battling leaders 2017-08-22 23:22:09 By Salah Shuaib Following South Sudan’s recent miserable transformations, a large segment of Sudanese elites is greatly disappointed by how the New Sudan project ended in failure, bringing a (...)

The 62nd anniversary of Torit popular uprising 2017-08-17 00:23:12 By Arop Madut Arop As the people of the Republic of South Sudan mark and celebrate the 62nd anniversary of August 18th, 1955 Torit uprising, it would extremely be important to recall the events (...)


MORE






Latest Press Releases


New group formed to gather Nuer in United States 2017-08-17 14:15:50 DECLARATION FOR THE FORMATION OF NUD TO BRING TOGETHER ALL NUER IN THE U.S.A Press Statement The Nuer Union For Development (NUD) The United State of America The State of Nebraska August 15, (...)

A prominent Sudan Women and Civil rights activist passed away 2017-08-14 21:09:47 The Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa (SIHA) Khartoum, Sudan-August 14 2017 In the early hours of Saturday 12th August Fatima Ahmed Ibrahim, a renowned Sudanese leader of the (...)

HRW denounces "collective punishment" in South Sudan’s Wau 2017-04-15 07:06:48 Human Right Watch South Sudan: New Spate of Ethnic Killings Urgent Need for Justice; UN Should Increase Patrols in Wau (Nairobi, April 14, 2017) – Government soldiers and allied militias (...)


MORE

Copyright © 2003-2017 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.