Home | News    Wednesday 5 August 2009

‘Trousers’ trial of Sudanese journalist adjourned amid protests


August 4, 2009 (KHARTOUM) — A Sudanese court today postponed the trial of a female journalist accused of wearing “indecent” clothes as police beat women protesting in her support.

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Sudanese journalist Lubna Hussein, right, who faces 40 lashes on the charge of "indecent dressing", flashes a victory sign to her supporters as she enters the court in Khartoum Tuesday Aug. 4, 2009 (AP)

Lubna Hussein, a journalist and at the time a public information officer at the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS), was arrested last month by Public Order Police (POP) with more than half a dozen girls and were charged with violating dress code under Article 152 of Sudanese law.

The crime is punishable with up to 40 lashes and a fine of 250 Sudanese pounds ($100).

Hussein, unlike most of the other girls, refused to admit the charge and asked to go to trial.

However, her situation was complicated with the immunity she possesses being a UNMIS employee. The journalists said she waived her immunity rights and resigned from the UN.

The judge today adjourned the session so that the court can receive opinion of the Sudanese foreign ministry on the whether her resignation automatically revokes her immunity at the date the incident happened.

One of the defense lawyers Jalal al-Sayed argued before the court that she enjoyed immunity incident to her UN employment status, against Hussein’s wishes.

Hussein emerged from the courtroom flashing the victory sign expressing dissatisfaction that the case was temporarily put on hold.

“The court should not have delayed the trial,” she told journalists.

“I am not afraid of flogging. ... It’s about changing the law,” Hussein told The Associated Press (AP).

Hussein further said she would take the issue all the way to Sudan’s constitutional court if necessary, but that if the court rules against her and orders the flogging, she’s ready "to receive (even) 40,000 lashes" if that what it takes to abolish the law.

The journalist was received by a crowd of around a 100 women, many wearing trousers, including prominent figures such as Rabah Al-Sadiq Al-Mahdi, daughter of former Sudanese prime minister, who waited outside the courtroom holding signs protesting the ‘indecency’ law provisions.

But Sudanese police fired tear gas and beat the protestors as well as some of Hussein’s female lawyers including Manal Awad Khogali.

The Sudanese media, subject to state censorship, are not covering the case of Hussein.

However, today Sudan official news agency (SUNA) reported today on a forum held to discuss “public appearance” that discussed provocative dressing by women in a subtle reference to Hussein’s case.

Rabie Abdel-Attie, a leading figure at the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) government, called the uproar over the case politically motivated and said only the constitutional court can decide to repeal the law.

“There is no need for all that noise. There are clearly political motivations behind this thrust,” he said.

The Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM) deputy Secretary General Yasir Arman accused POP of “taking advantage of the women they arrest and bargain with them for their honor and exploit their fear from their families.

The POP has reportedly filed a police complaint and began proceedings to lift the immunity of Arman in order to try him before the court in light of his comments.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he was "deeply concerned" about Hussein’s case and that flogging is a violation of international human rights standards.

The case threatens to become an embarassment for Sudan amid growing international attention.

An observor told Sudan Tribune from Khartoum that he expects the court to dismiss the charges on grounds of immunity as a "face saving" alternative to the government.


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  • 5 August 2009 05:52, by Kur

    Thanks to the SPLM. These are the fruits of freedom we have been fighting for. You can’t keep people in prison for all of their lives. That is crazy. The women of Sudan led by Lubna Hussien must continue their fight against this primitive regime that enslaves women. Women in Sudan must be free to choose what they want for their own bodies.

    Bashir and his gangs are pure prostitutes. They drink alcohol in secret while preventing others to do so. They are hypocrites who are executing the agenda of the evil.


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    • 5 August 2009 06:24, by murlescrewed


      Do you feel like you have to express incoherent and shallow respond to every news article? Some of your responds do not make sense and rather make you look childish. Tone down the hatred and moderate your responds to reflect mature judgment. No one is keeping anybody in prison. While the law is ridiculous, it is the law of the land. What Ms Husein is doing is commendable but reactions from less informed individuals who just write for the sake of their oversize ego, ruin the debate for the rest of us.

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      • 5 August 2009 07:11, by Kur

        I feel sorry for people like you who clearly know that the laws imposed on the Sudanese people by the regime are completely evil and have no regard for human values,yet you still want to entertain them.You also go as far as calling them the laws of the land. That tells me that you’re a petty and part of of this maniacal regime.

        You must know that when a certain segment of the society is barred from doing what it feels good about, it amounts to prison. If women are flogged for wearing trousers, it shows that they are not free, and those who are not free are actually in prison because they do not have the necessary freedom to act or say anything. You got it?

        Moreover,the only people who can be described as childish are those who introduced the laws they do not keep themselves. So my friend, you need to know that the laws which serve to demean human beings are not part of discussion. They are ruthless and evil and have no plaace in the sphere of free debate.


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        • 5 August 2009 14:42, by el tag

          Dear Kur,
          Well done I do agree with your response to Murlescrewed. Yes our women are suppressed and badly treated by the current regime, Lubna case reflects the lack of legal knowledge as well as moral consciousness. Any mature and reasonable man sees this issue is a complete joke. How can the regime goes after a lady wearing the trousters? It is ridiculous! Is this a crime? No because she is a journalist and she knows her rights. Therefore, they drag her on and in the same time turn a blind eye on other atrocities committed under the junta rules.
          We saw the government officials are condemning the indictment of Mr Bashir, and now they are crying out for Lubna to be challenged in the court. Remember this court is dictated by the dictator, meanwhilte, poor Murlescrewed talking about the laws of the land. Oh dear, what a poor judgement. Anyway brother Kur, these people are not connected with reality. That what i can say...

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          • 5 August 2009 17:56, by Kur

            El Tag, thank you for your comment. We need people like you to educate these twelve-century-minded individuals to understand the meaning of freedom. They’re in prison themselves, and they need to br freed from their demoniac idealogy.


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      • 5 August 2009 09:34, by Dekery

        Look Murlescrew,

        Such person like you should not be associeted with otherwise you are kind of stooges who all the way sit begging for reminants of all that shits ideas.

        I appreciate Kur responds on you son of a bitch. I cann’t wast time to awake barakole person


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      • 5 August 2009 14:52, by Flora Tong

        I assume that most of brothers and sisters writing comments here stay out of Sudan. I stay in Juba and for your infromation!

        Southern Sudanese girls who are putting on trousers or making themselves very smart are being arrested in streets of Juba by our Southern Sudan police and some SPLA soldiers! It is happening in my bare eyes as my sister had to come back home from where she was going and changed her clothes!

        What do we call this? It is always better to look into our house first! Those days of complaining everything at northern Arabs is over (Although I believe Northerners are our big enemy) and it is time to look inside home right here in juba as well! Girls are abused and harassed all the time in Juba! I have evidence and we are a group of women who want to take this to the ministry of gender

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        • 5 August 2009 18:43, by Kur

          Let me tell you this sister, I was in Juba last time but I did not see this kind of illegal action against our girls or women. However, if some security officers in Juba are doing this now, then this is illegal because our constitution is clear on personal freedom. The SPLM regime has already made it clear that there is no difference between men and women. Therefore, any complain of this kind must be brought to the attention of the legal authorities.

          We can’t tolerate demeaning of our women. Women are the backboner of our society. They stood firmly on the face of suffering during the war fighting and taking care of our children, a commendable act of courage. So, no sensible Southern leader who will order the flogging of girls or women for wearing trousers. You know what, the other day I watched a video on Youtube in which a young Southern Sudanese girl was singing the song titled " Garang Ma Moto" during the celebration of Martrys Day. Seeing that video, I could not hold back tears in my eyes. It was an amazing thing to see. Who will dare to deny freedom to such promising members of our society. That is the freedom we’re fighting for.


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        • 6 August 2009 01:29, by Kass

          Dear, Flora

          Your sister Lubna needs your help. We are not enemy to each other despite the history of war.Our really enemies are poverty,diseases and illiteracy (which is more than 90 %) in Sudan. So,let us work together to combat these first irrespective of whether we will stay together or depart company in 2011.When you see the elite of both the south and the north and who they work abroad along each other you will realise why it was not possible in Sudan, definitely because of the above three. I know there are evil people who take advantage of the illiterate to fuel war and fight. So please let us focus on fighting illiteracy,poverty and diseases first. I’m sure we have the opportunity to do so now.Say hello to all those in Juba please and kiss them for me.

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          • 6 August 2009 08:24, by Flora Tong

            Thanks. For your infromation I called Lubna on her phone in the day of her trail and assured her that she is a woman like me and my heart is with and that I am a southern Sudanese in Juba! she was very happy.
            Harassment of women is every where and Lubna was harassed for reasons more than wearing a trouser. She writes serious issues in a news paper.
            Governments are governments being in Khartoum or Juba they will always have their own ways of doing things.

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            • 6 August 2009 11:18, by Kass

              Thank you Flora for your decent response.God bless our women and protect them from harm.

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        • 6 August 2009 07:59, by Bonjo

          Dear Flora,

          Most of us are sudan particularly in the south, but to be honest with you, there is a difference between wearing trousers and being almost naked. Unlike the north, in south sudan everybody wears trousers even my little sisters do so and never have they been arrested or subjected to intimidation for that matter.

          Therefore, i do not really understand where you got that information of south sudanese girls being arrested in Juba for wearing trousers. Yes, it is unacceptable to walk in the city almost naked and expect law makers to do nothing.So do not confuse what is happening in the north to what is happening in the south. Thanks

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      • 5 August 2009 17:30, by MJriaksdca

        We don’t have laws of the land which reflect exact changing daily ways of lives of our people. The laws we have in our Sudan constitution were extracted or copied out from Kor’an. They were copied out by the top few of Sudanese islamic society who did so with a view to protect themselves and manipulate the rest of us some of whom do not come from a islamic community. Copying laws from a book of islam may not be a problem, but do these people who copied laws know that laws, when they become extremely oppressive, are to be reviewed? I know the answer these dumbs can give, that they are not to be reviews because these laws are from the holy book of Kor’an. they are perfect laws of God which cannot be changed. That is stupid. How does it escape your rational reasoning ability that God wants his people to be free and treated with degnity and right. How do you insist on something that is facing outright opposition from the very people you claim to protect with the laws? If we want to be an educated advancing society we should go with the neccesary changes of democracy and freedom which are happening in our daily lives and not keep people in an oppressive past. I support Lubna a hundred percent and want to tell her not to give up till her rights, our rights, are heeded.

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      • 6 August 2009 00:00, by ACIEK

        are you offended by that words ,it is truth that sharia law don’t go with life of majority of sudanese whether you are north or south sudanese.sudanese are prison by bunch of thugs who don’t even know the world is changing for good.it is time to stop ilegal of cultures,they are disgusting and humiliating.we wants these bunch of thugs to go ,we need freedom of speech,freedom of religion and freedom of what to wear.Do you jumb up if you see alady wearing a pants if so you’re moron. it is time to educate yourself of patient.The whole world were stunning why we fought each other but they don’t know what fishy in our home.The thugs lies to them we are racist but we are not.I appeal to the whole world to go and see the brutality of sharia in sudan.sharia is probident in sudan forever no question or comment.

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    • 5 August 2009 09:57, by Sala Gai

      It’s the goals of peace has reach to the Khartuom Government to obtain inocent for wearing the trouser, it’s old to the world but new to Khartuom Goverment to see lady wearing trouser but the world is advantaging and you are going back with your sharia law, why don’t you join the Africa to do the same activities.
      Shame on your Government Bashir. leave ulogy of darfurian as your were ulogy in Nasir year ago.

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  • 5 August 2009 05:55, by oshay

    I wish that all women of Sudan obtain their rightful freedom free from the constant threat of rape by the SPLA. Lubna Hussien is indeed a brave and honorable women and the government seriously need to adjust the law if it is against the aspirations of the women of sudan and avert further discontent amongst the good sudanese. Rule by consent is the best rule. Something the serpent SPLM will never understand.

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    • 5 August 2009 06:10, by Peter Nhiany

      Sudan must reverse its law code which prevent women to wear pants or trousers. It is a shameful act to humiliate women based on dress code. It is an abue of human right and Sudan law must be abide by the international rights standards. Women rights must be respected, and women power will prevail in Sudan. In South Sudan, this absurd rules of law must not be recognize. A law which desgrace and tortures its citizens on unprecedented reason must be abolish. Power to the women of Sudan.

      Peter Nhiany.

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    • 5 August 2009 08:03, by Akoon

      Oshay let me tell you this and stick it to your mind that this is what SPLA been in the bush for over 20 years.SPLA was fighting for the rights and freedom of speech and equal opportunities for all which are hardly given by the tyrant leader of the north. This is what you accused SPLM yesterday, SPLM never threaten any one about the way people dress, about any thing else no.

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    • 5 August 2009 15:09, by Ajiej

      I am sorry for always hearing fake comment from those of Oshay who always posted wrong information I don,t know whether he had been adviced by her mother that SPLA were raped her by then if not so please don,t talk against SPLA since they were liberator of South. However, I wish all of us to face North even you can see the mere trousers cannot even arrested someone if the police of NCP were serious.

      Hoping that you have to understand somebody comment before you post your comment.

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  • 5 August 2009 06:20, by J.James

    Crazy stuff

    That is why some people view Islam as evil religion or just prison in that matter because God has created Adam and Eve whom Muslims believe without cloth on. I failed many times to understand where the issue of dressing come from?

    Why do Islamic religion always want to punish women with no reason? Why do Islam hate women if it is really good religion?
    Which religion segregate his or her own people?

    Sudan should better learn or this country will be divided 50 times.

    I am deep shame by what Sudan always does.

    God bless

    The writer always need peace for all.

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    • 5 August 2009 07:10, by Santo Deng

      Oshay you are truly an agent of NIF/NCP. Why do you drag SPLM/A to any issue that is not related to it? Your negative propaganda campaign against the SPLM/A whould never succeed. Since when has your NIF/NCP been respecting the wishes of the sudanese people?. They have used political-Islam to maintain power in the north and used religious sentiments to rally the people behind them. At the same time, false pretension about creating an islamic society is backfiring on them as it’s the case here with this innocent women journalist, Lubna Hussein, who is being victimized by this NIF/NCP hypocrites of the first degree. I urge you to stop formenting a spirit of disunity among southern sudanese on this webforum and to stop shedding crocodile tears as if you care about the south. Your real intentions are crystal clear; for you have unveiled your mask with your pro-NIF/NCP postures. Your NIF/NCP brought shame to our sudanese nation and people with its short-sighted policies. It’s high time you begin correcting your disservice to the sudanese people by criticizing this genocidal NIF/NCP regime that you dearly support.

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  • 5 August 2009 07:01, by Northsudanes

    Hey to all of you this is the beging of freedom in sudan because this woman lubna is honor woman i never see in my life and she aboustely right of defending not just her but all women in sudan from this mother fucker criminal omar al bashier and his gangs trying to take adventage of women without any reason but check this out when i was in egypt girls even uder age wear a tight pents and open shirt and everyone can see it but in sudan they say is islam country while people in arab world they enjoy some freedom but not alot but in sudan no way i don’t know why but is because we have dum and idiot government in the world. i think this so emberrassment to them the government and everyone in the world laughing at them. she could be charge if she is prostoe or bitch but she is none of that she got a job with the UN and respectful person and smart but the stupid government tryin to hate on her for no reason.

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    • 5 August 2009 07:48, by Ajuscommando

      The government of Khartoum is run by crazy leaders who don’t understand International law and respect of diversity. Khartoum government is running blind political activities in the country whereby they don’t consider other people right and abuse human right in the country. I don’t see any problem in wearing of trouser in the public when you have not committee any crime concern Islamic law. The Islamic laws in Sudan are different with other Islamic country laws because Sudan is using military rules with force of individual’s interest in the country. Sudan will not be peaceful without justice and applying of International to the leaders like Bashir who doesn’t consider others people right.
      To come back to the point of raping, I would like Mr.Oshay to state very well where he found SPLA personals raping women in Sudan? If yes mention the place and name of the ladies they have raped. The SPLA can not conduct those activities to their people unless SAF who can do it. Look, the raping which is taking place in Dafur for 24hrs is carry by SAF personal and I have not came across of those such cases concern SPLA soldiers doing that in the South or North Sudan. Please Mr. Oshay, try to improve your manner and behave like others human being the world.


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      • 5 August 2009 12:20, by budi 23rd journalist

        Muslims around the globe is currently viewed as pple without Human diginity, especially islamic laws, The Quaran has destroyed the entire lives of Muslim on earth instead of preaching freedom, love to all pple regardless of race, colour like Bible, They are also blind of not knowing that Human beings are made by God instead they kill to pleased whom they called Allah and Mohamed.

        Look at what Happen in Nigeria, A Muslim man claim that scientific teaching is against Islam not knowing that everything around his nearest market is made through scientific knowledge, even the Gun that he uses. Those arabs in Khartoum are Muslims hence they are viewd by us as devil of peace, they are the people who are mostly used by Devil against the peace and love, and human being made by our lovely creator who told us to love one another like your self, instead Quaran told them to Bomb whoever is non muslim but they even when further to bomb their fellow muslim again in the name of Allah, oooh God.

        Im tired of Arabs.

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        • 5 August 2009 13:46, by Mou

          I don’t call it Sudan law nor the law of the land instead, I call it Islam law for Northerners only. For if it was a Sudanese law, how come those police don’t try it in the South and reap the benefits of women’s opression.

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          • 5 August 2009 14:56, by Ture

            The NCP and their frustrated government is just doing their last kick because their days are numbered.

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  • 5 August 2009 14:12, by Man of facts

    No blame...

    Sudan with divrsity ethnic communities could brightly see
    thier right of associate any where according to unversal
    humman right frame scheduled.

    Arab or muslim laws can not restrict these diversity.

    man of facts

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    • 5 August 2009 14:49, by Flora Tong

      in Juba and for your infromation!

      Southern Sudanese girls who are putting on trousers or making themselves very smart are being arrested in streets of Juba by our Southern Sudan police and some SPLA soldiers! It is happening in my bare eyes as my sister had to come back home from where she was going and changed her clothes!

      What do we call this? It is always better to look into our house first! Those days of complaining everything at northern Arabs is over (Although I believe Northerners are our big enemy) and it is time to look inside home right here in juba as well! Girls are abused and harassed all the time in Juba! I have evidence and we are a group of women who want to take this to the ministry of gender

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      • 5 August 2009 14:51, by Flora Tong

        I assume that most of brothers and sisters writing comments here stay out of Sudan. I stay in Juba and for your infromation!

        Southern Sudanese girls who are putting on trousers or making themselves very smart are being arrested in streets of Juba by our Southern Sudan police and some SPLA soldiers! It is happening in my bare eyes as my sister had to come back home from where she was going and changed her clothes!

        What do we call this? It is always better to look into our house first! Those days of complaining everything at northern Arabs is over (Although I believe Northerners are our big enemy) and it is time to look inside home right here in juba as well! Girls are abused and harassed all the time in Juba! I have evidence and we are a group of women who want to take this to the ministry of gender

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        • 5 August 2009 17:01, by Joseph

          Flora, Currently there is no such cases in Juba, in fact the commissioner of Juba issued many regulations without consulting GOSS. Immediately the commissioner was change and situation calm.
          The case of Lubna is complicate because it’s Islamic law, but SPLM, UN and commission that form to protect non Muslims should interfere to change that law.

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          • 5 August 2009 18:53, by Jeremiah Mach

            Anybody who repond to Oshay’s article is guilty.

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            • 6 August 2009 00:15, by ACIEK

              I’m glad to contribute little and laught little for words use by jalaba who wear nothing but jalabia.

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              • 6 August 2009 07:14, by Abu sala

                Look southerners, Unity they says, one country with diversity. muslim and christain, arab and non arab, sharia laws in the north and south don’t abide them. how and where on this planet such country exist. to me it is automatic seperation. thinks carefully before you response, this regime is ridiculous and should not be supported. before was SPLA/M follow by SLM/Darfur and now women protesting and tommorow will be men protesting for not to ware KANZU/JALABIA. Support the unity and deny yourself many things.... SEPERATION OYEEEE

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        • 6 August 2009 11:27, by kuminyandi

          Hi Flora,

          Hey! Flora, is Lubna single woman?



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  • 6 August 2009 10:26, by Abok Kiir Dau

    Thanks you guys, for standing up and defend our right, that’s what we need, since the world is going forwards not backwards. And as we all know SPLM/A was a freedom fighter, to abolish that past laws and come up with the fresh laws that does not segregate any body. So Lubna Hussein took a great step to show the whole world how the Khartoum government treat women badly, which is ridiculous laws.

    So brothers and sisters lets promote gender equality to have equal access to health and education, economic and political resources and opportunities as well as a safe living environment. Instead of live in fear of violence, and/or are unable to control their own destinies due to perceived gender differences and discrimination between and amongst males and females. Which is what is going on now in Lubna Hussein case and that is completely wrong judgement.

    Otherwise I would like Oshay and his supporters to show some respect on this web, and talk sense as an intellectual by using your intelligence and analytical thinking, either in a profession capacity, or for personal reason.

    God bless

    Miss Abok

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  • 6 August 2009 18:21, by gabriel galuak

    HOOO My God,

    I love that" let them face the sharia law, they were the founsder of sharia book, it is good that bashir start with northerners.

    sharia law has been implemented in south,while they contribute least when sharia law introduct by late, ex-prsident jafar mohamed namer and his cousin Dr husein abddalla turafi.

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    • 6 August 2009 22:59, by Monyde Bai

      I appreciates these Sudanese who contributed, agreed and disagreed with the so called Sharia laws and its Islamic code application.I do not believe these who supported the application of sharia law in its form and attaches actually themselves believed it as divine ordination instead of being a total social morality breakdown.I believed sharia law and its so called Islamic code are actually social moral meltdown born out of demonic selfish human pashion as it is manifests by such social evils such as public flogging, chopping off of limps, public stoning, eyes gauging and nieces to nephews and cousins marriages(incest). We are aware that something terribly went wrong in the so called Islamic societies and that this religion is not actually a divine ordination but rather a collection of all sorts of retrogressive animalistic archaic of human civilization which must be resisted with its all forms by these who thing as human beings.
      There you go again.

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