Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Women in Trousers, Torture, and a Compassionate, Merciful God

Nadia Hijab, Agence Global, Sep 14, 2009

Sudanese journalist Lubna Hussein’s courage in challenging the absurdity of her trial, sentencing, and imprisonment for wearing trousers has spotlighted the penal codes still in force in many Arab and Muslim states. These not only violate the internationally recognized rights of women in several respects but also international laws against torture.

I still shudder when I remember the provisions of one Arab code that described the appropriate techniques to use with someone sentenced to crucifixion and how to position a person for flogging, using a chair. What made it worse was that this was a revised code passed in 1994 and not some holdover from medieval times. The Sudanese criminal code under which Ms. Hussein was charged was passed in 1991.

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