Amnesty International called today on the Sudanese government to withdraw the charges against Lubna Ahmed Hussein, citing her wearing pants deemed to be “indecent”.
“The manner in which this law has been used against women is unacceptable, and the penalty called for by the law – up to 40 lashes – abhorrent,” said Tawanda Hondora, deputy director of Amnesty International’s Africa Program. “No one should be flogged. This is cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and flies in the face of international law and common standards of human decency.”
Amnesty International reiterated the point that in 2003, the African Commission ordered Sudan to amend Article 152 on the grounds that flogging amounted to state-sanctioned torture. Eight women were arrested for having a picnic in public with male friends. The women were flogged in public, using a wire and plastic whip. Reports are that the women were scarred.
The Sudanese government has made no moves to change the law since the commission’s decision.
Lubna is due back in court next Monday, Sept. 7, 2009. We will follow all developments closely. Anne