The following is the text of a report submitted to the Commission on the Status of Women on the trial of Sudanese journalist Lubna Hussein who was charged under Article 152 (Indecent and Immoral Acts) of the 1991 Sudanese Penal Code for wearing trousers.
"Many Tunisians are voicing concerns that Sudan's prosecution of journalist Lubna Ahmed Hussein for wearing trousers could mark a shift away from women's rights and towards religious extremism in the Maghreb."
On 10 July 2009, 13 women were arrested in Khartoum, Sudan and charged with violating the public dress code by wearing trousers. Ten have already been flogged and one of whom, journalist Lubna Ahmed Hussein, has rescinded legal immunity.
As Lubna Ahmad Hussein works for the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS), the judge today said that she has immunity so the case could be cancelled. Hussein refused, however, and said that she will resign from UNMIS so she will be dealt with as a Sudanese citizen. The decision was reached to postpone the case to another session on Tuesday 4th of August.
The Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML) International solidarity network is gravely concerned to hear that tomorrow, Wednesday 29 July, at 10:00 am, Sudanese time, the court will hear the case brought against Sudanese journalist Lubna Ahmad Hussein for ‘inappropriate dress and conduct’.
The international community must act immediately to resolve the political and humanitarian crises facing Sudan, said a panel of leading Sudan experts at a briefing here Tuesday, and ensure that any peace process formally include women’s input.