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Curtis Francis Doebbler v. Sudan

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Court/Judicial body: African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights 

Citation: Communication no. 236/2000 
Date: 15-29 May 2003 
Instrument(s) cited: African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights 

Case summary

On 13 June 1999, a group of female students at the Nubia Association at Ahlia University held a picnic in Buri, Khartoum along the banks of the river. They were arrested and sentenced to 25-40 lashes for ‘public order’ offences, contrary to Article 152 of the Criminal Law of 1991, because they “were not properly dressed or acting in a way considered immoral, for example girls danced and talked with boys”. A complaint was brought to the Commission stating that this punishment was carried out in violation of Article 5 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights which prohibits inhuman or degrading treatment. The Commission ruled the communication admissible and requested the government of Sudan to: Immediately amend the Criminal Law of 1991, in conformity with its obligations under the African Charter and other relevant international human rights instruments Abolish the penalty of lashes; and Take appropriate measures to ensure compensation of victims

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