Sudanese activists in Cairo demand reversal of flogging sentence

Dozens of Sudanese human rights activists staged demonstrations in front of the Sudanese embassy in Cairo on Thursday to protest the scheduled flogging of a young Sudanese woman for wearing indecent clothes.

Protesters demanded the abolition of the Sudanese Public Order Act, which stipulates a set number lashes for the transgression.

“This law humiliates all Sudanese, and not just women,” said activist Taghrid Awda. “It doesn't even define 'indecent,' but rather leaves it up to the discretion of police.”

“The law is applied to all women regardless of their religion, ignoring the existence of Christian women in society,” Awda added.

“Women in Sudan are only allowed to wear wide skirts and long blouses, while they must cover their hair,” she explained. “Trousers for women are considered indecent.”

“We have been calling for the abolition of this law for ten years,” Awda went on to say. “But President Omar al-Bashir said the law was irrevocable when he was campaigning in 2005 elections.”

Awda also claimed that the Sudanese ambassador in Cairo had refused to accept a memorandum that demonstrators had submitted to the embassy to request the law's abolition.

Sudanese human rights organizations, working both inside and outside of Sudan, say the law contravenes Sudan’s interim constitution.

These organizations allege that thousands of women are punished this way each month in northern Sudan.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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