13 December 2018

Sudan: 13 Khartoum Tea Vendors Arrested, Fined

Khartoum — The Public Order Court in El Deim district Khartoum, on Wednesday handed-down fines for 13 tea vendors who were detained on Monday from various parts of the capital, despite possessing permits.

Tahani Abbas, activist and chair of No-To-Women-Oppression Initiative, told Dabanga Radio that the 13 tea vendors have all the required permits to practice the sale of tea and coffee, including health and service cards.

She denounced police detention of the tea vendors in water-filled cells in an attempt to humiliate them, before they were fined between SDG 200 ($4.20*) and SDG 1,000 ($20).

Abbas appealed to journalists and activists in solidarity with tea vendors for their campaigns.

Desperate

There are more than 8,000 women engaged in selling tea and food, according to an inventory conducted three years ago.

In July 2016, the state Commissioner issued a decision to withdraw the permits of vendors to sell tea along Nile Street, the boulevard that follows the Blue Nile, without the provision of alternatives for the women sellers to carry on their businesses close to shopping areas.

Study

A study published by economic expert Dr Hassan Abdelati found that 88.6 per cent of the tea sellers in Khartoum are either displaced or migrants from rural areas.

In the study, Dr Abdelati asserts that the tea sellers' sector is growing because of inflation, war, difficult economic conditions, illiteracy, and poor education standards among the women.

* All SDG currency conversions are approximate based on the daily US Dollar rate quoted by the Central Bank of Sudan (CBoS)

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