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We are the National and International Campaign to Eliminate article 152 of Sudan's Criminal Code. This website is created in solidarity with all Sudanese women and with Lubna Hussien and the 12 women arrested on July 3, 2009 under article 152 for "indecent dress".

Sudanese organizations supporting the petition:

The Sudanese Studies Center
Sudanese Women Empowerment for Peace (SWEP)
Sudanese Organization for Research & Development (SORD)
Gender Centre for Research & Training
Salmmah Women's Resource Centre
Environmentalist Association
Mutawinat Group
Sudanese Organization for Nonviolence & Development
Sudanese Women Union
AlKhatim Adlan Centre for Enlightenment & Human Development (KACE)
Alag Centre
Peace Women Across the Globe, Sudan chapter
Legal Forum
Nuba Women for Education & Development (NuWEDA)

International groups supporting the petition to eliminate article 152 from Sudan’s criminal law:

Sudan Human Rights Org- Cairo Branch
Musawa for equality in the family
BAOBAB for Women's Human Rights
New Women Foundation, Egypt
Afghans for Civil Society
Bangladesh National Woman Lawyers’ Association (BNWLA)
Sisters Arab Forum for Human Rights, Yemen
The International Federation of Journalists
The Writers Guild
National Writers Union
Sisters in Islam, Malaysia
Peace Women Across the Globe
Amnesty International (Group-128) Amherst, MA
Group Against Torture in Sudan (Philadelphia, PA)
W. Massachusetts Darfur Coalition (MA)
Democratic Alliance of the Northeast Region (New England/NY)

We the above-mentioned organizations are addressing Sudanese policy makers, the Parliament of Sudan and the Ministry of Justice and demanding the elimination of article 152 of the Sudanese criminal law of 1991.

Article 152 has been used for almost two decades to subject Sudanese women to inhuman, violent and degrading treatment by the Public Order Police (PoP) that deems their public appearance or clothing offensive. The article states that indecent public behavior and dress is punishable with 40 lashes, bail or both punishments.

The law fails to define what is considered “indecent” or “scandalous” dress. In its application, article 152 contradicts with the Interim National Constitution of 2005 and violates fundamental rights under the International Bill of Rights. Thousands of Sudanese women have been dragged in police pick-up trucks and subjected to verbal and physical violence by PoP. The women who have suffered most have been the most venerable such as, women in the informal sector (food venders) and female students. In most cases those women are not given access to a lawyer or to proper court proceedings and the punishment and bail are administered in police stations. The psychological impact and the social stigma on women have a long lasting impact.

Sudan is a signatory of the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights. Article 152 of the Sudanese criminal law is in violation of Article 7 of International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights, which states that, “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment” and article 9, which states that:

1. Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention. No one shall be deprived of his liberty except on such grounds and in accordance with such procedure as are established by law.

2. Anyone who is arrested shall be informed, at the time of arrest, of the reasons for his arrest and shall be promptly informed of any charges against him.

3. Anyone arrested or detained on a criminal charge shall be brought promptly before a judge or other officer authorized by law to exercise judicial power and shall be entitled to trial within a reasonable time or to release. It shall not be the general rule that persons awaiting trial shall be detained in custody, but release may be subject to guarantees to appear for trial, at any other stage of the judicial proceedings, and, should occasion arise, for execution of the judgment.

4. Anyone who is deprived of his liberty by arrest or detention shall be entitled to take proceedings before a court, in order that court may decide without delay on the lawfulness of his detention and order his release if the detention is not lawful.

5. Anyone who has been the victim of unlawful arrest or detention shall have an enforceable right to compensation.

 
 

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