21 February 2014 Written by 

Sudan court convicts Ethiopian woman over 'gang-rape'

An Ethiopian woman who says she was gang-raped in Sudan has been convicted of "indecent acts".

The woman of 18 was three months' pregnant at the time of the alleged attack.

She was arrested after video of her allegedly being sexually abused was circulated on social media.

Three men who admitted having sex with the woman and two who distributed the video were reportedly sentenced to being whipped.

The three were each sentenced to 100 lashes for adultery, while two got 40 lashes for distributing indecent material, according to women's rights group Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa (SIHA).

'Brutal'

The woman was sentenced to a one-month jail term but this was suspended because she is pregnant, her lawyer, Samia al-Hashmi, told the AFP news agency.

She was also fined 5,000 Sudanese pounds ($880; £530).

She had also faced charges of adultery and prostitution, which could have led to a penalty of death by stoning, but these were dropped after she convinced the court she was divorced, reports SIHA.

The campaign group says the woman was house-hunting when she was lured to an empty property and attacked in Omdurman, just across the River Nile from Khartoum.

It says she now faces deportation.

The group's regional director Hala Elkarib condemned the conviction, saying it would prevent women from reporting sexual abuse.

"The levelling of immigration charges against the victim further denies her protection by the state and protracts the punishment and emotional stress against her whilst she has been subjected to the most brutal of crimes," she said.

Sudanese law is based on Sharia and women have been punished for wearing trousers or not covering their hair. (BBC)

Last modified on Friday, 21 February 2014 20:52
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