Amira Osman Hamed is ready to sacrifice her body for her beliefs. The 35-year-old Sudanese woman has refused to adhere to a law, which requires all women in her country to cover their hair with a hijab.
Hamed faces brutal lashings if she’s convicted of violating article 152, which prohibits “obscene and indecent acts” in public.
(1) Whoever does in a public place an indecent act or an act contrary to public morals or wears an obscene outfit or contrary to public morals or causing an annoyance to public feelings shall be punished with flogging which may not exceed forty lashes or with fine or with both.
(2) The act shall be contrary to public morals if it is regarded as such according to the standard of the person’s religion or the custom of the country where the act takes place.
In an interview with the AFP, Hamed, who is Muslim, said, “They want us to be like Taliban women.”
According to MSN, Hamed has received support from civil rights activists who say the vague law, which was instituted in 1989 after a coup by President Omar al-Bashir, leaves women open to harassment and abuse.
Hamed, who wears braids, says she was visiting a government office in Jebel Aulia late last month when a police officer ordered her to cover her hair.
“He said, ‘You are not Sudanese. What is your religion?'”
She told the officer, “I’m Sudanese. I’m Muslim, and I’m not going to cover my head.”
Hamed isn’t the only women to suffer under Sudan’s oppressive “decency” laws. Back in 2009, Lubna Hussein was arrested and sentenced to flogging after she was caught wearing trousers, and according to some estimates over 43,000 women were arrested in the country’s Khartoum State and jailed for “indecent” clothing offenses in 2008 alone.
Hamed’s could face up to 40 lashings as early as September 19 when her trial is set to begin.