By Worthy News Africa Service
KHARTOUM, SUDAN (Worthy News) -- An international Christian rights group expressed concerns Wednesday over reports that Sudanese officials flogged several Christian women for wearing pants.
International Christian Concern said Sudanese public order police detained the girls last week at a ballroom in Khartoum, the capital city of Sudan.
Some 10 girls, including several Christians, each received 10 lashes and were fined 250 Sudanese pounds ($179), the Sudan Tribune reported. Three of the Christian girls were allegedly younger than 18.
Police reportedly accused them of wearing "gross clothing" in violation of the Criminal Penal Code of Sudan. ICC said the Sudanese penal code is based based on Islamic laws which “discriminate against religious minorities and women.”
By subjecting the girls to “inhumane and degrading treatment, the Sudanese officials violated international human rights standards, as well as the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) signed in 2005 by the Islamist government of Sudan and the mainly Christian and animist southern Sudanese,” ICC said in a statement,
The agreement provides that Islamic laws are not applicable to non-Muslims living in Khartoum. Khartoum is home to millions of Southern Sudanese who fled the brutal war in South Sudan in which Islamist forces killed two million and displaced four million others, according to estimates.
"The flogging is an imposition of Islamic values on Christians and it's also a violation of religious freedom. This is telling us (the Sudanese people) that there are certain religions that are more important than the rest."
ICC's Regional Manager for Africa and the Middle East, Jonathan Racho, said that the “flogging of women for wearing pants is both outrageous and against the dignity of the women. Sudanese officials responsible for such illegal acts must be held accountable for this injustice."
Sudan's government has denied human rights violations. Uganda suggested this week it was going to be the first African country to express its willingness to arrest Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir if and when he enters Uganda.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued arrest warrants for President Bashir for war crimes in Darfur region