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Human Rights Watch: Sudan Uses False Charges Against Activists for Intimidation

Public Order Police accused rights activist Winie Omer of many crimes starting from Indecent Clothing up to crimes against the state. Winie stood before a Sudanese court on Tuesday facing charges of Prostitution and Violation of General Morals. Inside the court, she was also told that she might be facing charges of spying against the government.

Winie Omer and her supporters assure that she is targeted due to her work in human rights. “What is happening to me is but a message to other activists: “be careful and do not cross the limits… we are watching you, we can arrest you by the force of the law.”,” Winie said.

Last February, Sudanese police crashed in a legal rights meeting that included Winie Omer, another woman and two men; accordingly, the police held Winie for five days, confiscated her laptop and was later banned from leaving the country.

According to Human Rights Watch, this is not the first time in Sudan for false charges to be used against activists with the purpose of intimidating said activists.

Winie assures that she will not abide to the new laws, also, she used social media to promote her case and talked publicly and passionately about oppression against women in particular and against the society as whole in Sudan using the vague, discriminating Public Order laws.

It is worth to mention that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, of which Sudan approved, states in Article (19): “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”

Moreover, the Sudanese constitution included in Article 39-(1) that: “Every citizen shall have an unrestricted right to the freedom of expression, reception of information, publication and access to the press without prejudice to order, safety or public morals as determined by law.

Source: Human Rights Watch