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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

10/4/2013 (6 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Sudanese police allowed to dole out punishment at their own discretion

In a terrifying example of Islam's Shar'ia law, a video depicts a Sudanese police officer brutally whipping a woman on a city street. Her Crime? Entering a car driven by a man that was not related to her.

Crouching on the ground, trying to cover her head with a pink cloth while a police officer walks around her with a whip, the police officer warns the woman, 'This is so you don't get into cars anymore.'

Crouching on the ground, trying to cover her head with a pink cloth while a police officer walks around her with a whip, the police officer warns the woman, "This is so you don't get into cars anymore."

Article Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

10/4/2013 (6 months ago)

Published in Africa

Keywords: Sudan, whipping, sharia'a law, Khartoum


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Sudan's public order law allows police officers to publicly whip women who are accused of "public indecency." Found guilty on the spot of of riding in a car with a man who wasn't her husband or an immediate family member - an offense that prohibited by Sudan's public order law, she was whipped.

Crouching on the ground, trying to cover her head with a pink cloth while a police officer walks around her with a whip, the police officer warns the woman, "This is so you don't get into cars anymore."

A woman, identified as Halima, crouches on the ground while a police officer flogs her with his whip

A woman, identified as Halima, crouches on the ground while a police officer flogs her with his whip.


A crowd of onlookers stands nearby, simply watching while the woman is attacked in the video found on YouTube. The video was anonymously sent to a journalist, who uploaded it to YouTube last month. While it is unclear when the incident took place, the accents in the video suggest it was filmed around Khartoum, Sudan's capital city.

Even more horrific is Khartoum Governor Abdul Rahman Al Khidir reportedly said he didn't think the flogging was properly carried out. He allegedly thought the woman was "rightfully punished according to the Shar'ia law," which is a system of Islamic religious laws, which is widely interpreted by Muslim communities around the world.

Sudan's Public Order Law came into effect after General Omar al-Bashir took over as the country's president during a 1989 military coup.

According to womens rights activists, the law allows police officers to dole out punishments at their own discretion. "Personal status" laws are found in several conservative countries around the world and are often vaguely worded, according to Cristina Finch, the managing director of Amnesty International's Womens Human Rights program.

"Public indecency laws can be interpreted widely, " Finch says. "But this is not a matter of culture or religion. Womens rights are universal and governments have an obligation under international human rights law to respect, protect, and fulfill those rights."

Earlier this month, a Sudanese woman was arrested for refusing to wear a headscarf. Amira Osman Hamed, a 35-year-old engineer and activist, could get up to 40 lashes if she is convicted of the crime, according to Amnesty International.

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