Refusing to cover her hair in public

Dear Ela,


We have just hours to act. Tonight, Australian time, Sudanese women’s rights activist Amira Osman Hamed will go on trial.

The charge? ‘Indecent clothing’. Amira was arrested by a policeman after refusing to cover her hair in public.

If found guilty, Amira risks a vicious beating — up to 40 lashes. Not only is this punishment cruel and inhumane, it’s against international law.

Act now to demand the Sudanese Justice Minister throw out the case.

Amira is an exceptionally brave woman. She’s well aware of the risks that come with ignoring her country’s strict laws on how women should dress.

Just four years ago, in a case that made headlines around the world, a female journalist in Sudan was fined for wearing trousers. Refusing to pay, she escaped a public beating only after her union offered to cover the fine. [1]

Amira is relying on people like us — show her she isn’t alone. Amira’s best chance is if the case is dropped before it reaches court. In the hours before the trial begins, let’s flood the Sudanese Justice Minister with thousands of messages demanding just that.

Please add your message to the chorus — tell the Justice Minister to drop the charges against Amira immediately and unconditionally.

According to Amira, the police officer who arrested her was so shocked to find her hair uncovered, he said “You are not Sudanese. What is your religion?”[2]

In fact, Amira is a proud Muslim. But she believes that women have a right to choose their own clothing, and she prefers to wear her hair in traditional Sudanese braids rather than cover it.

Stand with Amira, and remind the Sudanese Justice Minister that the whole world is watching.  Insist that the minister drop the outrageous charges against Amira, abolish flogging as a punishment, and repeal this unjust law.

In hope,

Michael Hayworth
Crisis Response Coordinator
Amnesty International Australia.

PS. The trial is due to start tonight, Australian time.

We have just hours to protect Amira from possible beating — email the Justice Minister now before the trial starts.
[1] New York Times ‘Sudan court fines woman for wearing trousers’ 
[2] Daily Life ‘She may be flogged for not covering her hair’


28 thoughts on “Refusing to cover her hair in public

  1. I signed, will you? Please?!

  2. Thank you for the heads up. Done.

  3. I tried but it would not accept my postal code???

    • Try this if you want:
      For offline actions, please send appeals before 29 October 2013 to:

      HE Omar Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir Office of the President People’s Palace PO Box 281 Khartoum, Sudan Salutation: Your Excellency

      Mohamed Bushara Dousa Minister of Justice PO Box 302 Al Nil Avenue Khartoum, Sudan Email: mb.dosa@gmail.comSalutation: Your Excellency

      Ibrahim Mohamed Ahmed Ministry of Interior PO Box 873 Khartoum, Sudan

  4. Had to email also, wouldn’t accept my zip code.

  5. We are all mad. Seriously our species is insane. That we are talking about this, that it’s an issue, is so crazy I hardly know how to think about it. Power over others is evil and only the greedy and corrupt end up ruling over others. Only people who are mentally ill could beat someone because showing your hair has political and religious meanings. We don’t have a chance. We are broken as a species and the atrocities never seem to end. I hope she escapes punishment. I will check out where to send my vote. When people immigrate to the states they continue their horrific rituals, genital mutilation, etc., undercover. We can’t seem to stamp out cruelty when it’s tied to religious or political beliefs.

    • I know, it’s crazy! We have to keep on protesting. You may have to email.
      “The essence of God is consciousness. Consciousness can be used for either violence or peace; the choice is ours. When it is expanded, human consciousness chooses non-violence, since that is compatible with love.”
      –Deepak Chopra

  6. Glad to offer a hand.

  7. Reblogged this on high-grade discourse and commented:
    C’mon man!! Are you shitting me? Public floggings for human concoctions of law based on perceived divine imperatives is sooo Medieval. I It only takes a sec amigos, can you please sign the Amnesty International Petition?
    The text field is already populated, just add your name and hit send.

  8. 21st Century?! Signed and tweeted.

  9. […] Wrong: to command a bunny to cover her fur in public places and severely punish her if she disobeys the rule. 2) Wronger: with reference to above, invade and […]

  10. There still is much work to be done in terms of our efforts to raise awareness. Thank you for this post in particular.

  11. Signed and shared on facebook! What century do we live in again? Damn I thought I’d been dragged back to a previous life a millenium or two for a moment there! The mindset just boggles me. 21st Century people, get a grip!

  12. thank you so much for continuing to bring so much awareness through your posts. this is what changes the world. XX

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