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Sudanese court adjourns trial of activist charged with “indecent clothing”

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December 11, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - The Public Order Court judge in Khartoum on Monday has delayed the trial of a female rights activist accused of wearing indecent clothing.

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In December 2010 shocking images were circulated on the Internet on brutal whipping of a young woman, by uniformed police

Sudan outlawed “indecent or immoral dress” in 1991. Under Article 152 of the Criminal Code, Public Order Police (POP) can arrest anyone who isn’t dressed appropriately.

Wini Omer was intercepted by a prosecutor and a police officer as she was leaving her work place at Khartoum 3 neighbourhood on Sunday afternoon and has been taken to the POP station for wearing indecent clothing.

The POP detained Wini for five hours before she was released on bail.

“I was wearing the same clothes that I wore on [Sunday] morning during the trial of the [24 girls], I was wearing a skirt, a blouse and a scarf,” wrote Wini on her Facebook page

The POP filed charges against Wini under Article 152 at the Public Order Court in Khartoum.

In 2010, a former reporter who was working for the United Nations at the time of her arrest, Hussein has publicized her case, posing in loose trousers she was arrested in for photos and calling for media support.

Under international pressure and intense media coverage, Hussein was spared the 40 lashes stipulated under the charge and was fined an equivalent of $200.

It is noteworthy that a Khartoum court on Sunday acquitted 24 girls accused of wearing indecent clothes at a women’s party.

The young women most of them are from South Sudan were arrested last Thursday for wearing short skirts and tighten trousers in a women’s concert in Al-Mamoura district south of the Sudanese capital Khartoum.

The Sudanese people have been trying to break the wall of isolation imposed upon them by the government through the Public Order Act (POA) which prohibits women from wearing tight pants, or sometimes any pants, and bans public and private parties after midnight.

The Sudanese authorities imposed the POA claiming that it will prevent the negative behaviours in the society.

However, civil society activists demand the government to repeal laws that violate human rights and contradict with the 2005 Sudanese constitution and the international conventions including the POA.

(ST)

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The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

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