Graphic footage showing a Sudanese woman being lashed have led to shocked reactions among Sudanese expats and emigrés.
Punitive public lashings are the order of the day, according to RNW’s Ibrahim Jadelkarim, who is from Sudan. Tens of thousands of women are estimated to be subjected to this form of corporal punishment and public humiliation. It is unusual, however, for such scenes to be seen the world over via YouTube.
It is unclear what the woman was accused of, nor is her identity known.
The women involved are often accused of having committed adultery, of being improperly dressed in public, or of having behaved ‘indecently’ in other ways. Sudanese law, which is based on islamic Sharia rules, does not specify when clothing is considered indecent. This lack of definition allows policemen free reign to determine who is looking indecent. Women who were punished for such offences are usually too ashamed to speak about it.
Journalist Lubna Ahmed al-Hussein was arrested last year for wearing trousers, considered offensive by the authorities. Unlike other women, Lubna went public about her arrest and invited hundreds of friends and the media to attend the court session.