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Sudan women get 20 lashes for wearing trousers

Women wore trousers and no headscarf

A Sudanese court on Thursday sentenced two women to 20 lashes for dressing "indecently," an AFP reporter said.

The two women, who have not been identified, were arrested in Khartoum in July along with journalist-turned-activist Lubna Ahmed Hussein who spent a day in jail after refusing to pay a fine for wearing "indecent trousers."

"The two women wore trousers and no headscarf. The court therefore finds them guilty according the public order laws," Judge Hassan Mohammed Ali told an East Khartoum court.

"The fixed penalty is 20 lashes each and a fine of 250 Sudanese pounds ($100). If the fine is not paid, it would be one month in prison," the judge said.

Hussein last month opted for prison by refusing to pay the fine imposed by a Khartoum court for wearing trousers that the court ruled to be indecent.
She could have remained in jail for a month but was freed after one day when the journalists' union paid her fine.

Hussein felt the loose trousers she was wearing when arrested were not indecent and the incident spurred her to wage a public challenge to the law.

In her case, the court opted for the 500 Sudanese pounds ($200) fine rather than a flogging, but ten of the 12 other women who were arrested in a Khartoum restaurant at the same time as Hussein have been whipped for their offence.

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

The two women wore trousers and no headscarf. The court therefore finds them guilty according the public order laws

Judge Hassan Mohammed Al