12th November 2013
On 20th October 2013 at 9:30, Nagla Mohamed Ali, a lawyer and active human rights defender based in Port Sudan city, Red Sea State was arrested, detained and forced to spend a night in jail. Nagla was in a private taxi (Amjad) parked on the side of public road having a conversation with man colleague inside the taxi and the Taxi driver was as well inside the car, when 2 gun men entered the car and instructed the driver to keep silent and forced Nagla and her colleague out of the car. She was taken to the Public Order Police station and charged with article 151. While there she was denied bail, humiliated, and called names. The next day she was brought before a judge who set her trial for 13th November 2013. Nagla believes she is being targeted due to her work as a human rights defender. In her attached video testimony http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yHiUIIVoq6k to Lan Nasmot –We will not be silent online campaign, she is telling her story and stressing the need to abolish Sudan Public order regime.
The Public Order Regime in Sudan is a set of laws and mechanisms which prohibit and enforce a range of behaviour from dancing at private parties, to “indecent dress” to the concept of “intention to commit adultery”. These offences can be interpreted with great latitude and are enforced by a special police and court system with a reputation for violence and summary justice.
Article 151 from the criminal code of 1991 provides:
(1) There shall be deemed to commit the offence of gross indecency, whoever commits any act contrary to another person’s modesty, or does any sexual act, with another person not amounting to adultery, or sodomy, and he shall be punished, with whipping, not exceeding forty lashes, and he may also be punished, with imprisonment, for a term, not exceeding one year, or with fine.
(2) Where the offence of gross indecency is committed in a public place, or without the consent of the victim, the offender shall be punished, with whipping not exceeding eighty lashes, and he may also be punished, with imprisonment, for a term, not exceeding two years, or with fine.