Sudan’s Bashir endorses lashing of woman, says North will transform into Islamic state

Last week, a video appeared on Youtube, showing a woman being flogged in public. In some accounts, it is said that her crime was “wearing trousers”, in others, that she was accused of being a prostitute:

Last weekend, a YouTube video surfaced showing an unidentified woman in a voluminous cloak on her knees screaming and pleading in agony and pain with blue-uniformed policemen who took turns whipping her across the head and feet.

The policemen are shown to be laughing as the woman received the punishment and they are heard saying that she is sentenced to 50 lashes.

A protest march was called in Khartoum, but ended in arrests:

About 30 Sudanese women have been arrested for holding a protest march over a video which allegedly shows two policemen whipping a woman.

The women were detained as they tried to hand a petition to the justice ministry in Khartoum.

“Humiliating your women is humiliating all your people,” the women shouted as they were being arrested, reports the Reuters news agency.

During the arrests, our correspondent was kicked to the ground and had his equipment confiscated.

Less than two minutes after getting my microphone and recording equipment out of my bag, I was surrounded by hostile men.

They wore plain clothes, but were clearly from a branch of the security forces. One grabbed my arm. Another gripped the microphone, trying to wrench it from my grasp.

‘I’m a journalist,’ I said. ‘I have a right to record this.’

But a third man, wiry, tough, with a moustache, kicked at my legs. The move was so neatly executed, he might have been a judo champion.

I fell backwards onto the pavement, and the men moved away with my equipment. One of the protesters walked past me, saying “sorry” softly under her breath.

Then the plain-clothes security men decided enough was enough, and carted off the women to the police station.

The official Sudanese response to the scandal was confused:

Some Sudanese officials have said the video is not genuine but Khalid al-Mubarak from Sudan’s London embassy said: “It is a shocking video.”

He quotes the governor of Khartoum province as saying that the policemen should be punished and dismissed.

He says the women is accused of being a prostitute but told the BBC’s Focus on Africa programme: “Whatever the crime, what the policemen have done on the video is wrong, is unacceptable and is shameful.”

Mr Mubarak said corporal punishments are part of Sudanese law but “there are restrictions”.

Also, this:

The video stirred widespread outcry among Sudanese around the world and even some pro-government columnists wrote critically of the incident with some going as far as describing it as a “scandal” that will harm the country.

The deputy police chief Adel Al-Agib, speaking to the Dubai based Al-Arabiya TV last week, said that the timing of releasing the video was ill-intentioned to coincide with the Human Rights day of December 10th and to smear the image of the country.

Following the disclosure, the Sudanese judicial authority released a statement saying that the incident will be investigated.

“The investigation was started immediately after the images of the young woman, being punished under Articles 154 and 155 of the 1991 Sudanese penal code, appeared on the Internet,” the judiciary said in a statement.

The statement said the investigation would look into whether the punishment was carried out improperly.

There will be no investigation. Al Bashir has spoken:

The Sudanese president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir was unapologetic over a YouTube video showing a woman being flogged by police that sparked outrage both domestically and abroad.

“These days some people are talking about the girl that was lashed in accordance with a penalty of god’s penalties…..for those who say they are ashamed of this [punishment] they should wash up, pray twice and revert back to Islam,” Bashir told the harvest celebrations at Al-Gadarif state in East Sudan today.

The Sudanese leader stressed that those in disagreement should review their understanding of religion because Islamic Shari’a law “has always stipulated that one must whip, cut, or kill”.

But Sudan’s Bashir appeared to overrule the probe ordered by the country’s judiciary.

“We say [to] our brother the head of the judiciary and our brothers in the police who said that they will investigate this issue. The investigation’s [focus should be] whether this girl was sentenced to lashing [or no?] This is the end of the story. Did the police implement a judicial ruling? The case here is finished” he said.

“[If the girl was sentenced to flogging and the police carried out the verdict] What is the probe for then?” the Sudanese president posed the question.

Think it couldn’t get worse? It is just about to:

Bashir went further to announce that North Sudan will move fully into an Islamic law state after the likely secession of the South in next month’s referendum.

“If god forbids, the South separates [then] the constitution will be amended [and] a lot of things relating to the South will go away,” he said.

“But the opaque talk [about] the Sudanese people I don’t know what…is multi-racial and multi-religious, the [Islamic] Shari’a will be the main source for lawmaking….and Arabic language will the official language of the state as will be stipulated in the upcoming constitution,” Bashir added.


Gene adds: If you want, you can see the extremely graphic and disgusting video here, followed by an equally disgusting effort by the governor of Khartoum to justify the flogging.