Sudan to investigate flogged woman

AP and Ahram Online, Monday 13 Dec 2010

Sudan's judiciary opened an investigation into a video of a woman being flogged that has now gone viral, finding its way onto YouTube and enraging the Sudanese public

Sudan's judiciary has opened an investigation into a video of a woman being flogged that has been widely circulated on the internet, the state news agency reported Sunday.

The video shows a woman in a voluminous cloak on her knees screaming and pleading with blue-uniformed policemen, identified as Sudanese, who take turns whipping her across the head and feet.

There is no way to verify the identity of the woman or the location of the event shown on the two minute video.

The video which was posted on YouTube enraged the Sudanese public.

A great deal of Sudanese called for protests against laws abusing human rights, the first of which was in London on Sunday.

The video, which showed a judgment being carried out against the woman in front of a police station, also showed a judge asking the woman to sit and get it over with or spend two years in prison.

Those who executed the orders appeared to know they were being videotaped and gathered spectators claiming that the “faithful” should witness the ruling.

The government questioned the timing and motives of the video’s release.

The opposition condemned the incident, saying that it is “an affront to our religion, our humanity and national traditions” adding that it is a violation that bears no relation to Islam or Sudanese values.

"The investigation 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 implemented improperly.

Article 154 and 155 of the Sudanese penal code mandates flogging up to 100 lashes as a punishment for adultery or for the running of a brothel, as well as up to five years in prison.

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