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Sudan: Christian, Muslim women face flogging for ‘indecent’ dress

Catholic World News - November 27, 2013

In enforcing sharia law, Sudanese authorities flog hundreds of Christian and Muslim women each year for “indecent or immoral dress,” said Robert George, chairman of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom

“Because the law fails to define ‘indecent’ dress, arresting officers and prosecuting judges are free to impose their own views arbitrarily on others,” George wrote in an article published in the Washington Times. In one recent case, “authorities deemed it ‘indecent’ to refuse to wear the hijab or Muslim head scarf.”

George added that Sudanese law

identifies and harshly punishes infractions, including hudood offenses, which violate “public order.” Such offenses include drinking alcohol, apostasy (ridda), adultery (zina), defamation, unchastity (qazf), armed robbery (hiraba), and capital theft. These offenses carry fixed sentences that include death by hanging, stoning, crucifixion, and flogging. In a profound attack on religious freedom, those convicted of apostasy, for example, may be sentenced to death.

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