KHARTOUM, Sudan (AP) — Sudan’s judiciary opened an investigation into a video of a woman being flogged that has been widely circulated on the Internet, the state news agency reported Sunday.
The video shows a woman in a voluminous cloak on her knees screaming and pleading with blue-uniformed policemen, identified as Sudanese, who take turns whipping her across the head and feet.
There is no way to verify the identity of the woman or the location of the event shown on the two minute video.
[WARNING: VIDEO CONTAINS GRAPHIC IMAGES]
“The investigation was started immediately after the images of the young woman, being punished under Articles 154 and 155 of the 1991 Sudanese penal code, appeared on the Internet,” the judiciary said in a statement.
The statement said the investigation would look into whether the punishment was implemented improperly.
Article 154 and 155 of the Sudanese penal code mandates flogging up to 100 lashes as a punishment for adultery or running a brothel, as well as up to five years in prison.
In 2009, Sudanese journalist Lubna Hussein was sentenced to 40 lashes under the country’s controversial indecency law for appearing in public wearing trousers.
Under a storm of international criticism for the sentence, Hussein was eventually released with just a fine.
Sudan’s government implements a conservative version of Islamic law in the north, and “public order” police enforce the laws, banning alcohol, breaking up parties and scolding men and women who mingle in public.
A report from Reuters names the woman and claims her flogging was the result of wearing “trousers”:
Floggings carried out under Islamic law are almost a daily punishment in Sudan for crimes ranging from drinking alcohol to adultery.
But vague laws on women’s dress and behaviour are implemented inconsistently. One case sparked international furore when Lubna Hussein, a Sudanese U.N. official, invited journalists to her public flogging for wearing trousers.
The video, which was removed by YouTube, showed a crying Sudanese woman being lashed by two policemen in front of onlookers in a public place. She was made to kneel and the police laughed during the punishment.
The video originally posted in this story is still operational.