A while back, a Sudanese women, Lubna Hussein, was on trial for the crime of wearing trousers and was facing a flogging and lashes for wearing trousers. She resigned her UN job which would have afforded her immunity so that she could fight for Sudanese women’s human rights.
Ms Hussein wanted to force the repeal of Article 152 of Sudan’s penal code, which orders a fine and flogging for women dressed in an “indecent” manner. She had been arrested with 12 other women on July 5 at a restaurant in Khartoum. Public order police rounded up the women and subjected them to a humiliating public inspection of their clothing before arresting those in trousers. At the time I wrote to David Miliband asking him to immediately to call for the release of the women and the ending of such archaic and repressive laws.
I received a response from Baroness Kinnock – to whom my letter was passed. It basically says that they have tried through the Eu and the UN to make representations. It goes on about how much work they are doing for women in Sudan and all the sort of thing you would expect. But it also says that ‘to date, the UK has not made any representations to the Sudan Government’s representatives in the UK about this case’.
With a whole page of the letter about all the Government is doing through the Eu and the UN – why on earth haven’t they been discussing this will the Sudanese Government’s representatives here? I will let you know what they say in response to just that very question.