Brave Sudanese journalist/UN worker fights appalling charge

In case you haven’t heard yet, a Sudanese woman has been sentences to 40 lashes for wearing trousers. That’s the focus of most of the reporting, and definitely of the headlines. That lets the reader view it through the familiar lens of “appalling backwards country treats women horrendously”. But the headline above captures something important that all too easily gets lost.

The woman, Lubna Hussein – a former journalist who now works for the United Nations – has invited journalists and observers to the trial.
She was arrested in a restaurant in the capital with other women earlier this month for wearing “indecent” clothing.
She said 10 of the women arrested, including non-Muslims, later each received 10 lashes and a fine of $100.
Ms Hussein and two other women asked for a lawyer, delaying their trials.
Now Ms Hussein has printed 500 invitation cards and sent out e-mails, saying she wants as many people as possible to attend her hearing on Wednesday.
She says she has done nothing wrong under Sharia law, but could fall foul of a paragraph in Sudanese criminal law which forbids indecent clothing.
“I want to change this law, because this law doesn’t match in constitution,” she told the BBC.
“It is important that people know what is happening,” Ms Hussein is reported to have written on the invitations she circulated.

(Thanks, Jender-Parents.)

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