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U.S. ’concerned’ by arrest of Sudanese journalist over indecency charges


December 17, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - The U.S. Embassy in Khartoum Sunday said it was ’concerned’ about the arrest of a female journalist on charges of wearing indecent clothes and called to amend the Sudanese law in compliance with the international law.

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Wini Omer (Facebook photo)

On 10 December the Sudanese security service arrested Wini Omer a journalist, human rights defender, and 2017 Mandela Washington Fellow, on charges of “indecent and immoral acts” She was detained Wini for five hours before to be released on bail.

Her arrest comes after attending on the same day the hearing of 24 women charged with indecency for wearing pants during a private women-only party.

"Sudan should consider reviewing, amending or abolishing entirely Article 152 to ensure that the law is consistent with Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights," said the embassy in a statement released on its Facebook page.

The Embassy further alluded to the ongoing talks on the normalization of bilateral relations and removal of remaining sanctions on Sudan including the State Sponsor of Terrorism designation and recalled the need to protect basic freedoms.

The statement pointed to the visit of U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John J. Sullivan to Khartoum last November and his call for “concrete and demonstrable progress through better policies and improved laws” before to repeal the remaining sanctions.

Sullivan urged the Government of Sudan “to protect basic freedoms of expression, peaceful assembly, association, religion, and movement, adding “by protecting every person’s human rights, society is more just, more free, and more stable for everyone,” the embassy underscored.

Last Monday, the judge delayed Wini’s trial without explanation.

“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 Omer on her Facebook page after her release.

The U.S. welcomed a decision by a Sudanese court on Sunday acquitted 24 girls accused of wearing indecent clothes at a women’s party in Khartoum.

"We hope that the courts will uphold the rule of law in the cases of Wini and Montiser as well," further said the court.

Monitiser Ibrahim is a journalist who was arrested after visiting Wini in detention.


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