Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Sudan: UN Speaks Out Over Sentencing of Former Female Staffer for Wearing Pants Sudan: UN Speaks Out Over Sentencing of Former Female Staffer for Wearing Pants
This story still amazes me because Ms. Hussein was actually a member of the United Nations when she was cited for "indecency" under Sudanese law and could have received 40 lashes under there harsh clothing decency laws. To my amazement, and unfortunately, she had to resign to gain legal representation from the UN. When all was said and done, she had to pay a $200 fine and was found guilty of the offense under the statute. The others that were arrested for the same offense, (13 total) were not so lucky, as many of there sentences were carried out immediately for the same crime of indecency.(lashing) The Sudanese government was criticized by UN officials:

"At the time of her arrest, Ms. Hussein was not informed of her charges, violating the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Sudan is a State party, as well as its own Interim National Constitution.

"The rights to freedom from arbitrary arrest, to due process of law, and to freedom from cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment are expressly protected in the Bill of Rights contained in Sudan's Interim National Constitution," the OHCHR spokesperson said."

Of course this is a serious statement coming from the United Nations. The Sudanese counter-argument will be its our law and our sovereignty that gives us the right to interpret the law the way in which we want to. This goes back to my other blog on cultural relativism. However, we will stay on topic here. The long and short is our beloved UN former employee, is safe and did not receive the harsh punishment that was once speculated that she would be subjected to. This did receive plenty of media attention as well. Rightly so I might also add, as she was certainly not dressed indecently in a pair of blue jeans as far as anyone else is concerned in the rest of the world anyways, but not in Sudan apparently right?


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