New Amnesty briefing urges abolition of flogging of Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights in Sudan

Amnesty International today (1 March) denounced the practice of flogging in Sudan, which particularly affects Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights. A new Campaign Briefing from Amnesty asks people to write to Sudan’s President Bashir, urging him to abolish this brutal practice.

Sudanese Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights face a daily risk of being arbitrarily arrested in public or private places for “indecent or immoral behaviour or dress”. Public Order Police Officers in Sudan have the power to decide what is decent and what is not.

In most cases Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights are arrested for wearing trousers or knee length skirts.

Such behaviour can be punishable by up to 40 lashes under Article 152 of Sudan’s Criminal Act 1991. Judges have even exceeded the legal limit in some instances and punished Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights and girls by up to 50 lashes. These punishments amount to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and affect Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights as well as girls under 18 in Sudan.

Amnesty International UK Director Kate Allen said:

“It’s staggering that Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights and girls can be grabbed off the street by a plainclothes policeman, hauled before a judge and then whipped 40 times just for wearing a knee-length skirt.

“This law is discriminatory and the punishment is inhumane. The Sudanese authorities must abolish it immediately.”

In the lead up to International Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights’s Day, Amnesty International is calling on the Sudanese government to abolish Article 152. The law, says Amnesty, is discriminatory, vaguely formulated and constitutes a violation of the right to freedom of expression. Amnesty International also calls on the Sudanese government to end the use of flogging as punishment and to provide redress for the victims of this cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.

Article 152 is not the only law that discriminates against Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights in Sudan. The article is part of the broader public order regime that actively restricts the human rights of Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights and girls. The public order regime includes the Public Order Acts, sections of the 1991 Criminal Act and the associated public order police and courts.

In July 2009 Lubna Hussein, a Sudanese journalist with the UN, broke the silence around these laws. Lubna was arrested with 12 other Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights for wearing trousers. She chose to challenge her arrest in court and launch a public campaign calling for the abolishment of article 152 of the 1991 Criminal Act.

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