KHARTOUM, SUDAN -- Journalist Lubna Ahmed al-Hussein was one of 13 women arrested in a restaurant for wearing trousers this past Monday. The usual Sharia punishment for wearing "indecent" dress is 40 lashes. 10 of the 13 women plead guilty and agreed to accept a 10-lash punishment quickly in order to resolve the situation quickly, the three others are fighting the charges.
Khartoum, in northern Sudan, is ruled by Sharia (Islamic) law. Southern Sudan is not. Sharia law is not supposed to apply to non-Muslims, but the public order police nonetheless arrested the women in a restaurant that is popular with foreigners and journalists.
"I was wearing trousers and a blouse and the 10 girls who were lashed were wearing like me, there was no difference," she told the BBC's Arabic service, "I didn't do anything wrong."
Al-Hussein and the other two women who contacted lawyers instead of pleading guilty are awaiting their fates. Al-Hussein has printed and sent invitations to public officials and other press representatives to attend the expected trial in order to publicize the wrongdoing.