Hundreds of Sudanese Woman Inmates Released

Published May 31st, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Some 389 women serving terms in provincial prisons have been set free in the last few days following a presidential decree pardoning women jailed for public order offenses, the Prisons Administration said Tuesday. 

Another 563 woman inmates were released earlier this month from the Omdurman women's prison in the Sudanese capital. 

The decree has provided that all women jailed for public order offenses, that include liquor trafficking, drinking and misbehaving, be set free. 

The Public Order Law, introduced some five years ago, has been an object of bitter criticism by the public, opposition and human rights activists. 

The latest criticism of the Public Order Law came Tuesday from the pro-government Bar Association, which has demanded its abrogation and the dismantling of its enforcement bodies. 

The Association, which groups lawyers loyal to the government, said in a press statement that the special policemen charged with enforcing the Law violated human rights and personal freedoms by indiscreetly rounding up people for summary trial and denying them the right to defense and appeal. 

The Bar Association has called upon President Omar Beshir to order the abrogation of the Law, the Interior Minister to place its policemen alongside the main police force, the Justice Minister to disband the Public Order prosecution offices and the Chief Justice to dismantle its special tribunals. 

The duties of those bodies could be discharged by the regular police force and civil courts where defendants could stand fair trials, the statement said – KHARTOUM (AFP) 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (

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