- Upsetting video shows the Sudanese woman cower and call out in pain
- A police officer meted out the punishment under strict ‘public order’ law
- The video was sent anonymously to a journalist
By SAM WEBB
This horrific video shows a police officer flogging a cowering woman in the street as a crowd watches without protesting or intervening.
The crime that prompted this horrendous assault? She had ridden in a car with a man who she wasn’t related to, an offense that is prohibited by Sudan’s public order law.
The video is believed to have been taken in Khartoum, the capital, and shows the terrified and bewildered woman crying out in pain as lash after vicious lash rains down.
The woman, reportedly named Halima, cowers on the ground and tries to cover her head with a pink veil while a police officer stalks back and forth, before lining up a vicious swipe.
In the video, the police officer warns the woman: ‘This is so you don’t get into cars anymore.’
Meanwhile a crowd of onlookers mutely stands and watches the disturbing spectacle. The video was anonymously sent to a journalist, who uploaded it last month.
The accents of the people in the video point to it being filmed around Khartoum.
Khartoum’s governor, Abdul Rahman Al Khidir, reportedly said that he didn’t think the flogging was properly carried out, but still thought the woman was ‘rightfully punished according to the Shar’ia law,’ according to the New York Daily News.
Shar’ia law, a system of Islamic religious laws, is widely interpreted by Muslim communities around the world.
According to Think Africa Press, the women of Sudan have been suffering under article 152 of the penal code, an ‘inhumane, vicious and notorious’ law first implemented in 1991.
Article 152 of Sudan’s criminal code stipulates that any conduct or clothing in violation of public decency be punished with 40 lashes.
The law, which mainly targets women, is vague as to what constitutes indecent clothing, leaving room for the Public Order Police to arrest whoever they deem to be dressed inappropriately or committing an act of indecency.
The nation’s harsh laws came under scrutiny last month when a Sudanese woman said she was prepared to be flogged to defend the right to leave her hair uncovered in defiance of the ‘Taliban-like’ law.
Amira Osman Hamed faces a possible whipping if convicted. Under Sudanese law her hair – and that of all women – is supposed to be covered with a ‘hijab’ but Hamed, 35, refuses to wear one.
Her case has drawn support from civil rights activists.