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CORPORAL PUNISHMENT IN SUDAN

Video clips: School CP

With notes by C. Farrell



Three clips of school punishment in Sudan.

CLIP 1 OF 3

This one-minute video clip from 2009 shows a male secondary student being punished at the front of the class as he faces the blackboard, using what looks as if it might be a metre rule or possibly a stiff cane. Unusually for the Arab world, where punishment on the soles of the feet ("falaka") or on the hands seems to be the norm, most of the strokes are aimed at his buttocks, making this look rather more like a British-style punishment than an Islamic one. I am not sure how typical this is of Sudan, but I wonder if, just conceivably, it might be a lingering hangover from British rule (1898-1955).

    But it is not quite as simple as that, for this teacher is playing games: he starts off by whacking the boy lightly in the small of the back and on the back of legs before delivering several much more vigorous strokes to the seat of the trousers.

    The atmosphere in the classroom is highly jocular. The picture quality is poor. At the end of the clip, a second boy is evidently about to be caned, but his punishment is not shown. Corporal punishment is lawful in Sudanese schools.

HERE IS THE CLIP:


CLIP 2 OF 3

In this 20-second video clip from 2013, three boys receive three vigorous strokes each on the seat of the trousers. The implement is unclear but it looks more whippy than a cane. Once again, the atmosphere is highly jocular.

HERE IS THE CLIP:


CLIP 3 OF 3

In contrast to the previous two clips, this 1 min 15 sec sequence -- evidently part of a longer punishment session -- is entirely serious in atmosphere. The offenders are lined up against the back wall and called forward in turn to be disciplined. First, three male students are caned hard and accurately across the seat of their blue school uniform trousers (2 strokes, 1 stroke and 3 strokes respectively, but discontinuously filmed). The first of these lads is reluctant to present himself properly, and afterwards retreats clutching his backside. The third boy is older than the other two, and takes his punishment well. Then four girls, three of them in Muslim outfit, are caned on the hands. (This "boys punished on buttocks but girls on hands" procedure echoes a widespread former English practice, as also some schools in present-day Malaysia.) The cane used is whippy and very long; for some reason the teacher is holding two of them, but only uses one at a time.

HERE IS THE CLIP:




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