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Relief for Sudan women as law curtailing their rights repealed

Friday November 29 2019
By AFP

Sudan's sovereign council and the cabinet on Thursday formally scrapped the controversial public-order law that had severely curtailed women's rights in the country during Bashir's rule.

Thousands of women were flogged, fined and even jailed under the archaic law that activists said primarily targeted women through harsh interpretations of Islamic sharia law.

Under the law those who consumed or brewed alcohol -- banned in the country -- were punished, while activists said security forces used the law to arrest women for attending private parties or wearing trousers.

The controversial law had led to simmering anger among women for decades.

Women were at the forefront of the demonstrations that erupted in December 2018 against Bashir.

The protests quickly turned into a nationwide anti-regime movement that finally led to his ouster.

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The army deposed him on April 11 in a palace coup, and in August a joint civilian and military sovereign council was formed to oversee the country's transition to civilian rule as demanded by protesters.

A civilian-led cabinet headed by Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok is charged with the day-to-day running of the country.

Bashir is being held in a prison in Khartoum facing trial on charges of corruption. Several other officials of his government and senior party members are also in jail.

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