Source: Dabanga Sudan 
Two young women were arrested in El Gezira state on 11 February, on charges of violating the the Public Order by wearing trousers. 

Fatima Abdelfadel Hassan (16) and Amna Mohamed Banaga (18) were held by policemen when they were working at a brick-making site in El Haj Abdallah village. They were kept in custody at the local police station from 4pm until 11:30pm.

The women were released on bail only to return the next day for the trial, the Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa (Siha) reported in a statement on Wednesday.

Hassan (16) was acquitted, while Banaga (18) received 20 lashes.

Sudanese women in downtown Khartoum ( 
Sudanese women in downtown Khartoum (

Banaga told Siha's source that she was lashed on her hands, although it is usually conducted on the legs, buttocks, and back area. The source who visited the young women and their families added that Banaga's hands bear the marks of the lashings.

Siha condemned the incident, saying that in Sudan, "women and girls continue to suffer under discriminatory laws, particularly under the so-called Public Order Articles, contained in the 1991 Sudanese Criminal Act, by which they are arrested based on loose interpretations of the laws, subjected to summary trials, and lashed."

Siha is a coalition of over 80 women's civil society organisations in Sudan, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia, Somaliland, Eritrea, and Uganda. It works on women's access to justice, promoting and protecting women's human rights, activating women's political participation, and supporting economic empowerment.

The organisation published a detailed analysis of the Public Order Regime in 2009: "Beyond Trousers: The Public Order Regime and the Human Rights of Women and girls in Sudan".

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