A Sudanese woman has been jailed for a month after refusing to pay a fine for "dressing indecently" by wearing trousers, her lawyers say. Lubna Ahmed Hussein did not want to "give the verdict any legitimacy" by paying the fine of about $200 (£122), her lawyer, Nabil Adib, told the BBC.
Ms Hussein, a journalist in her 30s, could have been given up to 40 lashes. Before the verdict, she had said she wanted her trial to become a test case for women's rights, correspondents say. Ms Hussein had resigned from her job at the UN, which would have given her immunity. "She thinks she was unfairly tried and convicted and was not given a proper chance to put her defence case," Mr Adib said.
He said Ms Hussein would appeal to both the Court of Appeal and the Constitutional Court. Kamal Omar, another of Ms Hussein's lawyers, told the AFP news agency his client had been taken to the women's prison in Omdurman. The BBC's James Copnall, at the court in Khartoum, says Ms Hussein had previously said she was determined not to pay the fine but her lawyers had been trying to convince her to do so.
The announcement of the fine for Ms Hussein came shortly after the trial resumed on Monday. The journalist - who appeared in the same loose green trousers, top and shawl she was wearing when arrested - was found guilty of wearing "indecent clothing" under article 152 of Sudanese criminal law.
Earlier, at least 40 protesters were held by police outside the courthouse in the Sudanese capital. Some of them were women reportedly wearing trousers in support for Ms Hussein. All the protesters were later released on bail. Our correspondent saw one woman being hit eight or nine times by police with truncheons. Ms Hussein's supporters were heckled by Islamists, who tore up some of the women's homemade signs, says our correspondent.
But the presence of diplomats and human rights activists inside the court, and the protests outside, show that the trial has become a test case for women's rights in Sudan, he adds.
|Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are those of the writers and do not reflect those of Peacefmonline.com. Peacefmonline.com accepts no responsibility legal or otherwise for their accuracy of content. Please report any inappropriate content to us, and we will evaluate it as a matter of priority.|