Comments Closed

Trouser woman freed from jail

Lubna Ahmed Hussein was imprisoned on Monday after she refused to pay the 500 Sudanese pound fine imposed by a Khartoum court.


Hussein, who was originally sentenced to forty lashes for wearing the ‘controversial’ outfit, could have faced a month behind bars.

“We will continue the fight to change this law, the public order police, the public order tribunals,” she insisted, amid noisy celebrations of her release.

“I don’t even know who paid the fine, I had told my family and friends not to pay it,” Hussein said.

Pants deemed ‘indecent’

Mohiedinne Titawi, president of the Sudanese Union of Journalists, said his group had stumped up the cash.

Journalist Hussein was wearing slacks when she was arrested along with 12 other women in a Khartoum restaurant in July.

Sudanese law in the conservative Muslim north stipulates a maximum of 40 lashes for wearing indecent clothing.

Women in trousers are not a rare sight in Sudan but authorities can take offence at trousers that reveal too much of a woman’s shape, leading to accusations from rights groups that judgement is arbitrary.

Ten of the women arrested in July on the indecent dress charge, including Christians, were subsequently summoned by police and each given 10 lashes.

International outcry

Hussein led a public battle against the law, resigning from the United Nations, where she worked as a media officer, to stand trial.

Her case led to an outcry abroad and demonstrations at home.

The office of the UN human rights chief on Tuesday said her sentencing breached international law and exemplified the discrimination faced by women in Sudan.

“Lubna Hussein’s case is, in our view, emblematic of a wider pattern of… application of discriminatory laws against women in Sudan,” said Rupert Colville, spokesman for the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Last Friday, Amnesty International urged the Khartoum government to withdraw the charges against Hussein, saying the law used to justify flogging women for wearing clothes deemed “indecent” should be repealed.

Comments are closed.