Sudanese journalist to be imprisoned for wearing pants
By Halima Mohamed
Today, a Sudanese court in Khartoum sentenced Sudanese journalist Lubna Hussein to a fine of $200 or a one month imprisonment, in the case of non-payment.
Lubna Hussein was apprehended July 3 by a public order police raid of a restaurant in Khartoum. Among the 13 women detained with the journalist, 10 were fined and flogged, in the absence of defense and their families. Some of the accused were minors and Christians.
Lubna, who has refused to pay a (penny) in consistence with her principals, has been tried and will pass her first night in prison according to article 152 of the criminal law from 1991 that considers wearing pants in public places an indecent act that deserves flogging and fining.
According to the director of police, in 2008 the number of women arrested in Khartoum state for clothing offenses was estimated at 43,000. He could not verify the exact number of women who had been flogged or fined.
Miss Hussein, who works as spokesperson for the office of the United Nations Mission in Sudan and is a reporter of the Al Sahafa daily newspaper, has rejected immunity offered by the UN, resigned from her post and decided to face the Sudanese authorities to show the world the situation for women under this article. Hussein, also a politician, has received offers of political asylum from a number of countries including France. She justifies that her case isn’t an isolated one and that she will not leave Sudan before the end of the trial.
In a recent development in Khartoum, the public order police have beaten, injured and arrested 48 women journalists, activists and politicians, who have been participating in a demonstration of solidarity with the Sudanese journalist. Dr. Ihssan Fagiri, who recently joined PulseWire, is a physician and the Secretary General of the Sudanese Women’s Union. She was among the women who were detained for four hours and transferred to the prison where a number of lawyers rushed in for legal procedures and released them. Among them were mothers who had recently given birth and needed to be beside their babies.
On the other hand, a famous fanatic journalist described last week in his editorial, that women and men who lead manifestations in support of Lubna’s case are “prostitutes” and “gays.” Ishaq Ahmed Fadallah, editor in chief of “Al Wifaq” Arabic daily newspaper, and one of the ardent supporters of the Islamic government, wanted to prepare the public for the rejection of Lubna’s case and deliver a message that without the public order police, the balance of the society would be disrupted.
Posted at World Pulse, Sept. 7, 2009.
Worth noting, this story first emerged from World Pulse’s community newswire, PulseWire.