Sudan court sentences 9 women protesters to flogging
10 Mar 2019
Protesters set fires along a street in Khartoum, Sudan. Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah/ Reuters
Khartoum: A Sudanese emergency court on Saturday sentenced nine women protesters to 20 lashes each for participating in an unauthorised demonstration against President Omar al-Bashir's rule, defence lawyers said.
The ruling by the Khartoum court came despite Bashir on Friday ordering the release of all female detainees held during nationwide demonstrations that have rocked the country since December.
The authorities have set up special emergency courts to investigate violations of a nationwide state of emergency imposed by Bashir on February 22 to end the demonstrations after an initial crackdown failed to suppress the protest movement.
The nine women protesters were taken to court after they were arrested on Thursday for participating in a "banned demonstration" earlier that day in the capital's eastern district of Burri, a site of regular protests.
"Nine women protesters have been sentenced to one month jail and 20 lashes," defence lawyer Enaam Atieg told AFP.
"They have been taken to women's prison in Omdurman," she said, referring to the twin city of the capital across the Nile.
Atieg said an appeal against the court's verdict will be filed on Sunday.
A lawyers' group that is part of the protest movement also confirmed the sentencing.
"Following pressure from their lawyers the court has still not implemented the floggings," the Democratic Lawyers Alliance said in a statement.
Activists and rights groups have regularly complained about Sudan's selective application of Islamic sharia law, with hundreds of women sentenced to flogging under a controversial public order law.
Saturday's ruling was not the first against protesters since special emergency courts were established.