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Africa

Journalist in trousers 'indecency' case chooses jail

©

Video by FRANCE 24 , FRANCE 2

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-09-08

Sudanese journalist Lubna Ahmed al-Hussein (pictured) has been jailed after refusing to pay a fine imposed on her at a trial on Monday for wearing trousers deemed "indecent", one of her lawyers has reported.

AFP - Sudanese woman journalist Lubna Ahmed al-Hussein was sent to jail after refusing to pay a 200-dollar fine imposed on Monday for wearing trousers deemed "indecent," one of her lawyers said.
  
"She has been taken to the women's prison in Omdurman," the twin city of Khartoum, Kamal Omar told AFP.
  
Earlier on Monday, a Khartoum court spared Hussein a whipping for wearing "indecent" trousers but instead fined her 500 Sudanese pounds (200 dollars).
  

"I won't pay. I'd rather go to prison," Hussein told AFP by telephone before she was taken to jail, though her lawyers said they would try to persuade her to pay up.
  
Speaking as they emerged from the court hearing which was barred to the press, witnesses said the court had ruled that Hussein be jailed for a month if she failed to pay the fine.
  
Under Sudanese law, she could have been sentenced to a maximum of 40 lashes for "indecency" under Islamic principles after being arrested with 12 other women wearing trousers in a Khartoum restaurant in July.
  
Women in trousers are not a rare sight in Sudan but the authorities can take offence at trousers which 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 the police and each given 10 lashes.
  
Hussein could have suffered a similar punishment, but instead the journalist challenged the charge and began a publicity campaign to try to have the law changed.

Date created : 2009-09-07

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