Whos wearing the trousers in Sudan?  

There are some articles I have to read twice because I simply cannot believe the story, and that was most certainly the case for story in today’s Daily Mail among other news outlets of a woman in Sudan who is at risk of being flogged for wearing trousers.

Lubna Hussein is one of the 13 women arrested at a restaurant for this act and is at risk of being flogged.  As reported in the Times, the former UN employee waived her right to immunity from prosecution by planning to resign from her post determined to change the law for Sudanese women.

ITN’s report highlights that Ms Hussein has cited Sudan’s own constitution to claim that the law to ban women wearing trousers contradicts the country’s very own human rights charter.

One certainly has to admire Ms Hussein’s decision to proceed with this court case given that she had (quite literally) a ‘get out of jail free’ card – especially when one considers the punishment.  Flogging is a particularly cruel and inhumane form of punishment which Amnesty condemns, especially if such a punishment is applied to someone for carrying out their basic human right.

The decision to wear whatever one chooses is a basic freedom of expression which must be respected and protected in any country.

Yesterday the ‘trouser trial’ – as it’s being branded – was adjourned until 4 August so that Lubna Hussein could have enough time to quit her post.

Meanwhile Amnesty will be supporting Lubna Hussein’s call for the law in Sudan to be revoked so that women in Sudan can wear trousers if she chooses.

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Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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