Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Shocking photo of Lubna Ahmed Hussein wearing "indecent" trousers in Sudan

In the news today (see here below) the BBC's James Copnall in Khartoum (click here to see his video report) says Sudanese journalist Lubna Ahmed Hussein, who works for UN mission in Sudan and faces the prospect of 40 lashings if found guilty for wearing "indecent" clothing (see photo here below), is determined to generate as much publicity as she can in an attempt to get the law changed.

So, further to Sudan Watch, July 13, 2009 Sudan women 'lashed for trousers', here is my contribution, with best wishes and good luck to Ms Hussein in her courageous stance. I think lashing is physical and mental torture and that any type of cruelty is unlawful.  Men in Sudan are free to wear gowns, dresses, skirts, trousers.  Women should have equal rights and not be punished for wearing trousers.  

Note that in a report here below, another female journalist who wrote an article supporting Ms Hussein has been charged with defaming the police, which can carry a hefty fine:  Amal Habbani wrote an article for Ajrass Al-Horreya newspaper following the arrests entitled 'Lubna, a case of subduing a woman's body'.  I have not seen the article but in a protest against any journalist being punished for writing in support of Ms Hussein's effort to get the law changed on dress codes for women in Sudan, the title I am giving this blog post is as follows:

Lubna, a case of subduing a woman's body

Here is a shocking photo of Lubna Ahmed Hussein wearing "indecent" trousers in Sudan.

Sudanese journalist Lubna Ahmed Al-Hussein wearing her trousers

Photo: Sudanese journalist Lubna Ahmed Al-Hussein wearing her trousers. Source: The Daily Mail, 13 July 2009 - Sudan women sentenced to 40 lashes each... for daring to wear trousers in public. Here is a copy of some comments at The Daily Mail article:
If it's against the law I wonder why they were wearing trousers? Not that I would ever condone women being lashed, I hasten to add. Totally babaric.
- susan, london, 13/7/2009

If you want to live in North Sudan you must adhere to its Islamic principles and most of all its Islamic Sharia law. If you do not like this then move to the Secular southern Sudan.  Sudan is not the West and there should not be this arrogant hegemony that whatever the West does it right and whatever the East does is wrong. Western civilization has massacred tens of millions with its blind arrogance. People fully know the law, if you do not dress modestly according to Sudanese standards there will be consequences, it's silly to commit a crime and pretend like you're the victim.
- Steven, London, 13/7/2009
Lubna Ahmed Hussein (or Al-Hussein)

Photo: Lubna Ahmed Hussein (Source: The Seferm Post, Wednesday, 29 July 2009 - Woman Faces Flogging 40 Times For Wearing Trousers)

Sudan court adjourns 'trouser' case

Photo: Women in northern Sudan usually dress in traditional outfits that
include a large shawl (Source: Gallo/Getty/Aljazeera, Wednesday, 29 July 2009 - Sudan court adjourns 'trouser' case)

Further reading

From L'Indipendente, Italy, Wednesday 29 July 2009:
The Silence of Women
Lubna Ahmed Hussein (or Al-Hussein) is a well known female journalist living in Sudan. She writes a regular column entitled "Men Talk" in "Al-Sahafa" (i.e. “The Press”), one of most popular Arabic daily newspaper, and founded by her late husband Abdul Rahman Mukhtar in 1961. In her column she criticizes courageously the situations in Sudan as well as the orientations of the Sudanese sitting government and the militant fanatic Islamists alike.

Today, on July 29th, 2009, Lubna will face 40 lashes because she was wearing trousers. She and twelve other women wearing trousers were recently arrested in a restaurant in the capital, Khartoum. Ten of the women had pleaded guilty to the charges and had 10 lashes immediately even if several of them were from the mainly Christian and animist south, and in Sudan non-Muslims are not supposed to be subject to Islamic law, even in Khartoum and other parts of the mainly Muslim north.

In spite of that, Lubna was condemned to 40 lashes and to a 250 Sudanese pounds fine (about 74 euro). So, she posted the invitation to her friends and supporters to «stir up a scandal around her case». She said that «this is not a matter of a personal attack against me as a journalist, nor of preserving my personal dignity. Far from it … The issue has taken on a different character, [and I call] on the public to be [my] witness and [to judge for themselves whether this incident] is a disgrace for me or for the public order police. You will decide after hearing the charges and the prosecution witnesses, rather than [only] my side of the story».

This is a fact, but there is something worst about this story. If you search for Google about Lubna corporal punishment, you will soon realize that a deafening silence is fallen on this event by most women who has power in the world. Female politicians, entrepreneurs, journalists, professionals seem to ignore such a cruel sentence. No struggles, no demonstrations, no public declarations. Apart some comment on Facebook and some other social network, few blogs, and some on-line newspaper, the women universe is incredibly quiet about Lubna's fate.

I am astonished, surprised, angry about that. Where are the rich and powerful women who always speak of equal opportunities and rights of women? Where are the politicians, the feminists, the female bloggers? I do not understand and, as a man, I feel ashamed for them too.

Latest news

The decision of a Sudanese judge in charge of Lubna Ahmed Hussein’s trial has postponed his decision to August 4th. It seems that Lubna refused to use her UN immunity in the trial, which she could have done, to save herself the lash.

So, women: you have a second chance to voice your disagreement and your protest. Please, use it!
- - -

From BBC News, Wednesday, 29 July 2009 13:27 UK:
Sudan 'trousers trial' adjourned
The trial of a Sudanese woman charged with wearing "indecent" clothing has been adjourned, but will continue after she decided to waive her immunity.

A Khartoum judge told Lubna Ahmed Hussein she could have immunity because she works for the UN.

But Ms Hussein, who claims she was arrested for wearing trousers, said she wanted carry on with the trial because she wanted to get the law changed.

Under Sudanese law she could face 40 lashes if she is found guilty.

"I wish to resign from the UN, I wish this court case to continue," she told a packed courtroom.

The woman - a journalist who works for the UN mission in Sudan - had 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.

'Unconstitutional law'

She said 10 of the women arrested with her, including non-Muslims, each received 10 lashes and a fine.

Ms Hussein and two other women asked for a lawyer, delaying their trials.

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 hitting is not human, and also it does not match with Sharia law," she told the BBC.

The BBC's James Copnall in Khartoum says Ms Hussein is determined to generate as much publicity as she can.

Meanwhile another female journalist who wrote an article supporting Ms Hussein has been charged with defaming the police, which can carry a hefty fine.

Amal Habbani wrote an article for Ajrass Al-Horreya newspaper following the arrests entitled "Lubna, a case of subduing a woman's body".
- - -

From Sudan Radio Service, Wednesday, 29 July 2009:
Trial of Woman in Trousers is Ajourned
(Khartoum) – The first hearing session in the case of the journalist who was accused of dressing indecently early this month has been ajourned.

Lubna Hussein, who works in the office of the UNMIS spokesperson in Khartoum, was arrested by the public order police, together with other 8 women. They were arrested on a charge of wearing provocative clothing.

Sudan Radio Service spoke to Lubna Hussein’s defence lawyer, Nabil Adib, immediately after the session.

Adib said that his client had insisted on waiving her immunity so that she could face prosecution.

[Nabil Adib]: “A lawyer from the UN, came to the court on behalf of UNMIS and he appealed to the court to drop the case because according to the agreement between the UN and the Sudan government, UN workers have immunity against prosecution. I as the defence lawyer for Lubna, did not object to this appeal, but I appealed to the court to give her time because Lubna does not want to hide behind any immunity. So we urged the court to give her time so she can resign from UNMIS and continue with the case, because Lubna thinks that just dropping the case because she has immunity will damage her dignity and she claims that it was defamation, so she wants to prove her innocence.”

Adib described the accusations against the journalist as a “very weak case.”

[Nabil Adib]: “Personally I think this case is very weak, there is no accusation against Lubna totally, the proof for this is that she came to the court today in the same clothes she was arrested in, and it didn’t draw the attention of any one.”

Nabil Adib was speaking to Sudan Radio Service in Khartoum on Wednesday.
- - -

Some comments on Sudan women 'lashed for trousers'


Photo:  from a comments thread at English baby! a forum for learning English. Here is a copy of some of the comments discussing BBC News report, Sudan women 'lashed for trousers'
I have some questions
* Do these women know that Sudanese law prohibited wearing troussers?
* If the answer is yes. Does the law of Sudan says that they should be lashed?
for this reason they lashed her, but not for any other reason
Does this apply for the other 29 women?
- - -

Probably 30 women have the same ideas or political thoughts, which aren't compatibility with government.  Repressive regimes always find religious excuse to cover their pressure on press freedoms.  Nothing in Islamic laws like this punishment but its just in Taliban's Islam there is like that law.
- - -

I understood this article so that the women are lashed because they wear trousers. I myself wear trousers because it's comfortable. On the other hand why should always the men dictate which dressing is "indecently" and which not. Why do men think that women want just to seduce men? Aren't the women able to decide for themselves what's bad moral and what's not? I am so sorry that the men still dictate what the women have to do and what not. This article grabed my attention.
- - -

I have no idea whether they know it or no. Nevertheles it is discriminating women.
- - -

That's barbaric. In other countries police officers would be suspended and go to jail for doing something like that. This world is really crazy.
- - -
Snapshot of Google's newsreel on Wed, 29 July 2009, 20:20 GMT UK:

Woman in court in trouser "test case"

Reuters India - Andrew Heavens - ‎1 hour ago‎
KHARTOUM (Reuters) - A Sudanese woman facing 40 lashes for wearing trousers in public made her first appearance in a court packed with ...

Woman Threatened With Lashes for Wearing Pants

ABC News - Dana Hughes - ‎2 hours ago‎
A Sudanese journalist sent out hundreds of invitations to people to attend her trial today where she is accused of indecency - and threatened ...

Sudanese woman risks flogging over 'indecent' trousers

Times Online - Tristan McConnell - ‎2 hours ago‎
A Sudanese woman has said she will give up her immunity as a United Nations worker in order to undergo a public trial that could could result in her being ...

Sudanese woman to give up immunity to stand trial

The Associated Press - Mohamed Osman - ‎2 hours ago‎
KHARTOUM, Sudan — A Sudanese female journalist facing 40 lashes for wearing trousers in public in violation of the country's strict Islamic laws told a ...

Sudanese woman 'faces 40 lashes'

BBC News - ‎7 hours ago‎
A Sudanese woman who is due to appear in court in Khartoum says she faces up to 40 lashes for wearing trousers. The woman, Lubna Hussein - a former ...

Sudanese Woman Faces Flogging for Wearing Trousers, AFP Reports

Bloomberg - Paul Richardson - ‎9 hours ago‎
July 29 (Bloomberg) -- A female Sudanese journalist will be flogged 40 times today for wearing “indecent” clothes, Agence France-Presse ...

Sudanese journalist facing 40 lashes for wearing trousers waives ...

Daily Mail - ‎3 hours ago‎
By Mail Foreign Service A Sudanese woman facing 40 lashes for wearing trousers has waived her immunity to force her case to come to trial. ...

Sudan court adjourns 'lashes for trousers' case

AFP - ‎7 hours ago‎
KHARTOUM — A Sudanese court on Wednesday adjourned the case of a woman journalist facing 40 lashes for wearing "indecent" trousers, with 10 women already ...

UN Worker May Be Flogged Over Attire

Washington Post - Stephanie McCrummen - ‎13 hours ago‎
A Sudanese woman who works for a UN peacekeeping mission in Sudan's capital, Khartoum, is bracing to be flogged 40 times Wednesday, the penalty under ...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This not Islamic Sheriah. It is Sudan's tribal Sheriah. There is no any punishment for wearing pants in Sunnah and Quran. It comes from Harici mind.