Female UN Worker in Sudan Wears Pants, Faces Flogging
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 28, 2009 4:25 PM CDT
Sudanese President Omar al Bashir.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – A local woman working for the United Nations in Sudan has been charged with wearing “clothing causing harassment to the public sentiments” and could be flogged 40 times tomorrow for the crime, the Washington Post reports. Lubna Ahmed Hussein and 12 other women were rounded up earlier this month at a Khartoum café for wearing pants. “Maybe I'll be punished,” she says calmly. “The judge will decide. I'm not afraid.”

Islamic law dominates in much of the land, though Christian regions in the south are given a pass and the strict dress code often goes unenforced in the capital, Khartoum. “Generally it depends on the police on duty,” a newsman says. “Many of them are really tolerant. But there are some fundamentalists among them.” The conservative government of Omar al-Bashir is noncommittal. “If she is convicted, yes, flogging is a possible punishment,” a spokesman says. Ten of the other women already received lashings.