Police clashed with a group of 100 women protestors outside a courthouse where Sudanese journalist Lubna Ahmed al-Hussein's trial for wearing pants commenced yesterday. Witnesses say police sprayed the women with tear gas and beat several women with batons. One of Hussein's lawyers, Manal Awad Khogali, was among those attacked, according to the Associated Press.
Al-Hussein and 13 other women were arrested on July 3 for wearing pants in public and sentenced to public flogging. As an information officer for the United Nations, al-Hussein had immunity to the sentence, but chose to resign from her job in order to challenge the law. Yesterday, the judge adjourned the trial until September 7 to investigate the status of al-Hussein's immunity, reports the Telegraph.
Hussein told the Telegraph, "I am not afraid of being flogged. I will not back down. I want to stand up for the rights of women, and now the eyes of the world are on this case, I have a chance to draw attention to the plight of women in Sudan." Flogging is a common sentence endured by many Sudanese women.
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