Home | News    Thursday 30 July 2009

Sudanese court adjourns trousers trial

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July 29, 2009 (KHARTOUM) — A Sudanese court adjourned the trial of a female journalist facing 40 lashes for wearing "indecent" trousers in public after the UN Mission in Sudan said she works with the UNMIS and has immunity.

Lubna Ahmed Al-Hussein (AFP)

The UN local staff and journalist had been arrested with other Sudanese girls by the Public Order Police earlier in July for wearing trousers. Rights activists say she had been arrested in retaliation against her writings criticizing the Sudanese regime and extremists.

When the authorities arrested her she was wearing trousers, a blouse and her head was covered by a "Tarha" headscarf. However, the police said the trousers were too tight but further insisted that her blouse was too transparent.

In Wednesday trial, the judge deferred the case to next Tuesday August 4 after Lubna Ahmed Al-Hussein, who works for Al-Sahafa newspaper and for the UNMIS media department, waived the immunity given to UN workers.

A lawyer representing the UN Mission in Sudan had asked the judge to release Lubna arguing that in accordance with the agreement signed with Sudanese government, all the staff of the mission are protected by the diplomatic immunity given to the mission.

After the UNMIS request and the objection of the prosecutor who tried to raise doubts over the date of her UNMIS card saying it was issued after her arrest. The Judge suspended the trial.

However, later the judge said it is up to Lubna to decide if she wants to benefit from the UNMIS immunity.

"I wish this court case to continue," she said. She also said resolved to resign from the UN body in Sudan.

The Sudanese journalist, who is supported by women rights activists and many journalists, intends to challenge this law that allows hitting women.

The Public Order Police considered Lubna’s dressing style a threat to the values and virtues of Sudanese society. Conviction, following such an accusation, results in receiving 40 lashes in public as per article 152/1991 of the criminal law.

After her answer, the court decided to adjourn the trial to next Tuesday.

Many political figures and representatives of western diplomatic mission where attending the trial, in a move to demonstrate their support. Also the police prevented cameramen and photographs from attending the trial.

The media reporters started to interview politicians and rights activists when they got outside the court but the Sudanese police confiscated their cameras and arrested four reporters from Al Houra TV, Al-Jazeera TV, Ajrass Al Houriya and Al Midan newspapers. All of them were released two hours later.

Feminists and rights activists said they would stage a demonstration on Thursday to protest against repression and violations of women rights.

They want government to abolish or change the public discipline law, one of the most oppressive and discriminating laws against women, as it violates basic individual freedoms.

(ST)

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  • 30 July 2009 06:36, by MADIT MAJAK CHOL

    you Arab people are so sick with your stupid Islam law. What is wrong with a woman wearing trouser? you people are violented women right you people are committing crimes against women. We don’t need this kind of religion in southern Sudan. we have to support treat all people equal in the eye of God. ashame to Muslim people for taken women right a way from them.

    repondre message

  • 30 July 2009 07:30, by BUSTA 2

    There is no different betweeen SPLM and NCP!

    Salve Kiir is following his father Bashir food step because I heard two days back tht, the stupidy polices of South Sudan were arresting women who put on trousers yet Sout Sudan is claiming to be Democratic village!!

    Arresting women who are putting on trouser in Juba showing that SPLM is just copying from Bashir and they are yet to rule Sudan. If there are certain tribe in is South Sudan who don’t want to see women in trousers, let them found where to stay or let them going to Abyei, Rumberk where ladies dress in fan clothes.

    Brother in Christ,

    Busta 2

    repondre message

  • 30 July 2009 10:58, by da vinci the great

    Let the arabs know how good sharia tastes.
    They support nonesense

    repondre message

  • 30 July 2009 11:49, by Oduck Bol

    This is the way they keep their culture by forcing wamen to wear what they do not want to wear. God would have created human being with cloth on them if he/she did not need us to have our chioces. The is one of the things that south dose not like from north. people must find out were this law was written and who wrote it against women. People must stop this criminal act. In 199s Dr Hassen Truabi cheated Sudanse people that if you go South and die there,you are going to heave right away, but in 1998 Dr Hassen change his vioce that those who went south and died there are all going to hell. He was seemed like deputy of God.

    repondre message

  • 5 August 2009 05:16, by kuminyandi

    Oh God! Lubna is pretty. Hey, Lubna Ahmed Al-hussein would you mary me?

    Kumi,

    repondre message

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