Last month, Sudanese journalist and UN officer Lubna Ahmed al-Hussein made headlines when she was arrested for wearing pants under the nation’s indecency law and chose to fight in court, facing forty lashes.
Her trial resumed on Sept. 7, during which the judge decided she should pay a $200 fine instead of receiving lashes. Al-Hussein refused to pay the fine so as not to recognize a law she argues is unconstitutional, and was sentenced to one month in jail. However the Sudanese Journalists Union paid the fine, and she was released the next day. However she believes she was released because of the government’s fear she would report on women’s prison conditions.
“I’m happy for all the people who supported me in Sudan … and all over the world,” al-Hussein declared. “But I will, with all women in Sudan, continue our work to end this bad law. We are not stopping here.” (McClatchy)
A Sudanese expatriate in the United States has created the website I Am Lubna with a petition to eliminate Article 152 of the Sudanese Criminal Code, which stipulates that indecent clothing or conduct is punishable by forty lashes. It has gathered support from many Sudanese organizations, particularly those centered on women’s rights and education, as well as international groups. Add your name to the petition here.