KHARTOUM (14 Jun) – Radio Dabanga http://www.radiodabanga.org/node/51615
The Public Order Court of Al Sug Al Mahalli in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum, on Wednesday ordered that a female student from Darfur should pay a fine of SDG1,000 ($230) or spend a month in prison for wearing “inappropriate clothes”. The student alleges that she was “abused” while in detention.
Alia Abdou was arrested on a main street in Khartoum and taken to the public order police prison in Al Daim. She claims that while in pre-trial detention, she was abused, beaten and had her clothes confiscated.
In a statement to Radio Dabanga on Thursday, the Darfur Bar Association said Abdou was convicted based solely on the testimony of the complainant and his witness. The allegedly inappropriate clothing was not displayed as evidence,
The statement says that Abdou demanded her clothing be returned after the trial, but this was refused and the clothes were taken to be burned. “The complainant proved ignorant of what constituted ‘inappropriate dress’ in terms of the public order.” The Bar association branded the conviction against Abdou “illegal”.
“It is a continuation of prosecutions that target people who live on the margins of Sudanese society,” the statement said. “Especially women are vulnerable to insults and humiliation, and this will lead to an imbalance and accelerated fragmentation of social cohesion.”
The statement continued that conducting persecution under the guise of ‘public order’ is contrary to the norms and objectives of the Islamic religion.
“The daughters and wives of state officials wear trousers of various sizes and patterns, without being subjected to such prosecutions. This proves double standards and abuse of the law,” the statement concludes.