Search

 

Cablegate: Sudan's Public Order Courts - Enforcing Morality with A

VZCZCXYZ0016
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHKH #1150 2131537
ZNR UUUUU ZZH (CCY ADX0BF138F MSI8126 611
P 311537Z JUL 08
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1472

UNCLAS KHARTOUM 001150

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/SPG, S/CRS, AF/C, DRL
DEPT PLS PASS USAID FOR AFR/SUDAN

C O R R E C T E D C O P Y - PARA MARKINGS 2,3,4,5

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL PHUM CASC SU
SUBJECT: SUDAN'S PUBLIC ORDER COURTS - ENFORCING MORALITY WITH A
LASHING

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: First instituted by former President Nimeiri in
1983 as part of an Islamicizing trend, Sudan's Public Order Courts
have continued to serve as the state mechanism for morality
enforcement since the National Islamic Front's rise to power in
1989. Today the court still issues punishments ranging from fines,
to lashings, to lengthy prison sentences for offences such as
drinking alcohol, wearing inappropriate clothing, or associating
with unmarried women. On July 31, poloff and conoff met with an
Amcit and Canadian citizen both of whom had been found guilty under
this code. The female Amcit was found guilty of wearing
inappropriate clothing and paid a relatively small fine. The
Canadian, convicted of drinking alcohol while being with an
unmarried woman, faces a stiffer sentence. END SUMMARY.

2. (SBU) On July 31, conoff received a call from a journalist who
reported that a Sudanese-American citizen found guilty of public
indecency would reportedly soon be lashed at a Public Order Court in
North Khartoum for indecent dress. Poloff and conoff traveled to
the court and met Anok E. Kuanyin Agoth, a twenty year old
Sudanese-American dual national. Agoth reported that on July 24 she
walked to a nearby shop in jeans and a short-sleeve shirt. When an
officer approached Agoth, she said he informed her that her clothing
was indecent and that he "could see my body shape." The officer
arrested Agoth, who was held for 2.5 hours at the police station.
She said she did not inform the authorities of her American
citizenship because she feared repercussions. The judge heard
Agoth's case a week later, found her guilty, and issued a sentence
that allowed her to choose between ten lashes and one month in jail
or payment of a fine of 100 Sudanese Pounds (appx. $50.) Agoth
paid the fine and left the court.

3. (SBU) Court officials informed conoff and poloff that they had
also tried and found guilty another person they said was a
Sudanese-American citizen of drinking alcohol and associating with
an unmarried woman. Court officials stated that this individual was
sentenced to one month in jail, 80 lashes, and a 2000 pound fine.
The court granted access to the prisoner. However, he told emboffs
he held Canadian-Sudanese dual citizenship and was not an Amcit.
Conoff notified the Canadian consul of the detained Canadian
citizen.

4. (SBU) Coincidentally, when the Agoth case happened, CDA Fernandez
was meeting with DUP parliamentarian Mudawi al-Turabi who is very
familiar with the Public Order Courts. He described them as
"arbitrary, corrupt local institutions" and often staffed by
illiterate and ignorant petty officials looking to supplement their
pay by extortion and harassment. Turabi, who has immunity as a
parliamentarian, was recently accosted by two young men claiming to
be working for the Public Order Courts. It turned out that they were
indeed working for a local court and were cashiered former SAF
paratroopers looking for a little extra cash. Turabi's charge was to
be that he had been talking to or associated with a young woman who
is not a relative. He succeeded in calling a police general friend
who arrested them for illegally bothering his friend - in Sudan,
both justice and injustice can be personal and venal.

5. (SBU) COMMENT: Despite significant liberalization in the last 10
years, Sudan still has some strict laws on the books regarding dress
codes for women, consumption of alcohol and "immoral" behavior,
giving license to freelance Islamists and corrupt officials to
extort a few pounds from the powerless. ConOff is sending suggested
edits to CA for to post for travelers planning to come to Sudan.
END COMMENT.
FERNANDEZ

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO: