Sunday, December 02, 2007

More Trouble in the Sudan

As if the crisis in Darfur is not enough, the Sudan has now played host to another questionable human rights situation. Gillian Gibbons, a British teacher who had come to the Sudan to teach Sudanese children, has been arrested and sentenced to 15 days in jail for allowing her students to name the class teddy bear Muhammad. Sudanese prisons are among the worlds worst due to their lack of beds and clean drinking water as well as very poor quality food. The prisons in Sudan are apparently so bad that the people who are used to the poor conditions of life in the Sudan would find the conditions of the prisons to be deplorable. Should the Sudanese government be allowed to keep its prisons in such a poor condition? Should the British government do anything to intervene in this case on behalf of Gibbons? Should the Sudanese government be able to commit such an obvious breach of Gibbons' human right to free speech or is her "crime" culturally relative?

2 comments:

A said...

Although i do believe that this situation pertains to cultural relativsm i do think that the prisions should be held to a livable standard. In the Universal Declaration of Human Rights article 25 states:
"(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care..."
Deplorable prisions should not be allowed no matter what type of offence the person residing in the prison commited.

Tigist said...

The prisons are meant as a punishment so perhaps in that regard it is alright for them to be in such a state. However, it does not seem fair to subject just anyone to such harsh treatment. In Gibbons case, the british government should do something to intervene. Her crime is culturally relative because she is in an Islamic dominated country. A large majority of people 'felt' she should be imprisoned for her act. By our freedom of religous practices this does not seem fair at all.