Sudanese Women Flogged for Wearing Pants

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KHARTOUM - Sudanese police raided a café on Monday, arresting 13 women for wearing slacks, a violation of Sharia (Islamic) law.

Ten of the 13 women chose a summary trial, after which they were flogged in public and fined 250 Sudanese pounds ($120 U.S. dollars).

Sudanese "public order" police function similarly to Saudi Arabia's "religious" police, patrolling the streets to ensure adherence to Islam's legal code.

Among its many prohibitions, Sharia law forbids men and women from associating with one another in public.

Journalist Lubna Hussein was among those arrested on Monday. She and two other women opted for a full trial. If convicted, the women could be publicly flogged with up to 40 lashes.

Hussein said she decided to speak out not only because she "didn't do anything wrong," but also because women endure flogging silently.

"Let the people see for themselves," she said, after issuing printed invitations to the media and prominent citizens to attend her trial.

"This is retribution to thousands of girls who are facing flogging for the past 20 years because of wearing trousers," she said, because "they prefer to remain silent."

All three women will be assigned a trial date by the public prosecutor.

Source: The Associated Press

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