Sentenced to a public lashing for daring to wear trousers

This video of young woman being brutally whipped by a police officer in public has inflamed the Sudanese Web since it was posted online last Wednesday. Our Observer says the footage shocked even the most conservative Sudanese people.
This isn’t the first time that a woman is submitted to a public flogging for “indecent” behaviour in Sudan (in this case, the young woman was reportedly sentenced for wearing trousers). A little over a year ago, the case of Lubna Hussein, a Sudanese woman who defied the courts to carry out her public whipping despite the immunity granted by her status as a UN staffer, made international headlines. Under pressure, the Sudanese government eventually pardoned Lubna, but as the recent video shows, other women aren’t so lucky.
On December 14,  a group of about 30 women who tried to deliver a protest letter to the justice ministry in Khartoum were arrested and set free after several hours. Our Observer was one of the protesers, she was not arrested by says she was beaten by a police officer.


“We refuse to let these police officers go unpunished”

Mariam Ezzedine is a member of the opposition National Democratic Alliance and an activist in the organisation  "Stop the Oppression of Women" that was created following the Lubna Hussein trial.
This video was shot inside Khartoum’s police headquarters, in the presence of a police judge [according to Sudanese websites, the scene took place on December 5]. More than the sentence itself, what shocked the public was the particularly vicious way in which it was carried out. The video shows the policemen whip the young woman all over her body, including her face, which is against the law. Also, you clearly hear policemen laughing while the woman screams in pain. The officers don’t seem in the least bit disturbed by the presence of a camera: one even asks that the people who are watching the punishment be filmed, although he hides his own face when the camera turn towards him.
"What exactly 'indecent clothes' means is left for police to decide"
This kind of punishment is authorised by the law. According to Paragraph 152 of Criminal Act (1991), “whoever commits an indecent act or an act that breaches public morality or wears clothes that are indecent or would breach public morality which causes annoyance to public feelings is liable to forty lashes or fine or both punishments.” The problem is that exactly what “indecent clothes” means is left for police to decide. Nothing is to stop them from arresting women on a whim, or even from carrying out a sentence without a fair trial or allowing the accused to be represented by a lawyer.
Since the Lubna Hussein trial, we have repeatedly demanded that this article is repealed, because it is too vague and unjust in its application. Six months ago, we tried to file an appeal with the Constitutional Court, but our request was not even examined. Every time we speak out or gather in public, we are systematically harassed and even arrested by police.
Despite these obstacles, we are determined not to give up. These practices are unjustifiable acts of oppression against Sudanese women, and we refuse to let the police officers in this video go unpunished."
Post written with France 24 journalist Sarra Grira.


Reply to comment | The Observers

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Freedom for women

Without equal rights, freedom and respect for women, not nation can grove.


For a country to develop women should be given equal opportunity as men. If men can wear trousers then why it is wrong for women. A brutally punished in front of the public without sufficient reason shows a poor judicial system and giving extraordinary power to the police.

I think you are completly right

No woman should be persecuted like this !

Public Lashings

I have viewed the video as well as given thought to the public lashings. Would it be better if it were a man rather than a woman. If we are to call for justice let it be called for, for the people. Let us not hide behind words such as women and children. In a contry where you know that a simple wearing of trousers can cause you to suffer such a discipline, it is then by choice that you have challenged the laws of that country. We must be correct, so called free countires police oficials practice beating certian members of it population because of their of race, creed or color. example: man beaten, 80 bones broken, it was called justifiable, on video the man never once fought back, "Rodbey King"., les we forget,
We call it freedom?

treatment of women etc.

Until and unless Islam is far removed from any sort of politcal process, this barbaric nonsense that is thrust into the main stream under terms applicable to Islamic punishment, there will never be any sort of humanuity coming into the lives of those who live under Islam, with it's warped and twisted Sharia legal system.

The religion may well be honourable and just, but until the demonic mentality of those in the [positions of power in that religion are weeded out, and the religion is allowed to be practiced as it is claimed it should be, then it will stagnate, with the current abusive behaviour of many of it's adherents tolerated for fear of upsetting it's leadership.

It is with little wonder Islam is castigated throughout the non Islamic world, when these sort of practices and many others too many to mention, are seemingly part and parcel of the everyday practice of Islam.


who cares? why did Teresa Luis has been executed?


People in liberal societies should advocate for those mistreated and beaten under the banner of extreme religious interpretation. When doers of malicious acts are unable to find just reasons, they often go under the hammer of religion. Unfortunately, no one says anything, leaving Dante to remind us of "the hottest places in hell" will be reserved for those who are silent and do nothing. Liberia, Sierra Leone, Burma, Iran, Rwanda are the wake up calls.

Sometimes, the forces of evil tend to overshadown citizens of the free world. Women are always the scapegoats. What harm can trousers good to make a person "holy". Religion cannot be imposed. It is voluntary and must remain voluntary. Individuals who commit curelty under the mandate of the law and religion are doing disservice to humanity and the women of the world. Bravo to those who showed the world this cruel and inhuman treatment under the wings of religion.

Lashings for daring to wear trousers

I physically shuddered watching this video not only for the inhumane barbaric act of sanctioned cruelty against women, but the knowledge that this public display of male dominance and control is only the tip of the level of punishment meted out to some women in private as justifiable male authority in their doomed belief they can beat women into submission.

The state beating women as a form of subjugation is not Islamic, its fear of being exposed as wholly inadequate with nothing tangible to offer but public gestures of mindless cruelty on a perceived weaker member of the population, the state is a thug and a bully.

Women everywhere WILL one day demand their share in the control of power in their state alongside full control of their lives and ALLAH knows they will make a better job of it.

When I see this kind of abuse

When I see this kind of abuse and the court ordered it, I say that it ashame for the court jugue ,But when you see an police officer laugh about it, I say the police officer should be horse whjipped every inch of their lives.