Target: Minister of Justice Awad al-Hassan al-Nur
Goal: Save 10 Christian women arrested for “provocative” clothing from barbaric flogging.
A group of 12 women were arrested in front of a church for wearing skirts and pants and are now at risk of being flogged for their supposed crime of public indecency. The Public Order Police of Sudan have the right to arrest any woman whose clothing is considered against the morals of the public or otherwise obscene, and the choice of whether or not an outfit is too provocative lies entirely in the hands of the officer making the arrest.
Of the 12 women arrested, two were released and 10 are facing charges. If they are found guilty, they could receive the barbaric punishment of 40 lashes, a fine, or both. An estimated 40,000 women are detained to be fined or flogged each year in Sudan with their trials being hasty, biased, and against the international fair trial standards.
These women are not walking out of their houses in the nude, they are leaving in a pair of jeans or deciding not to cover their hair, both of which are entirely within their rights. Where it might be acceptable for religious organizations to deny them entry if the clothing does not fit beliefs, it is not within the rights of a government to permanently mar their skin and mind because a male cop thought they looked too sexy.
Not only is this an extreme violation of women’s right, it is a disgustingly old fashioned way of punishment. The detained women need to be released immediately and Article 152 that gives the police force the right to whip women who break a skewed dress code needs to be rewritten to protect women’s rights. Sign the petition below to tell the Minister of Justice this crude method of punishment and female discrimination needs to stop.
Dear Minister of Justice Dousa,
Women are being punished by the tens of thousands on the streets of Sudan for making simple fashion choices entirely within their human rights. The police force should not be allowed to detain women for choosing to leave their hair uncovered or put on a pair of pants, and the justice system shouldn’t be so violently punishing them.
It is the human right to wear what makes us comfortable. Allowing men on the police force to detain women for their clothing is sexual harassment. Allowing officers to punish females for their clothing choices only perpetuates the idea that it is a woman’s responsibility to control the urges of men.
Allow women to leave their house without being afraid they will be arrested and beaten for the style of their hair or the length of their skirt. Change Article 152 to stop making these arrests legal and common and instead increase efforts to protect women’s freedom of choice.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Steve Rainwater