Lubna Ahmed al-Hussein, who was jailed in Sudan yesterday for wearing pants, was released today after the Sudanese Union of Journalists reportedly paid a fine to secure her release. Al-Hussein pled not guilty during her one-day trial yesterday and was not allowed to present a defense. Nabil Adib, her lawyer, told CNN, "She thinks that she did not have fair trial and a conviction was wrong...we intend to file an appeal within the next three days." She refused to pay an approximately $200 fine because she refused to "give the verdict any legitimacy," reported the BBC.
Al-Hussein and 13 other women were arrested in July for wearing pants in public and sentenced to public flogging. As an information officer for the United Nations, al-Hussein had immunity, but chose to resign from her job in order to challenge the law.
Police clashed with a group of 100 women protestors at al-Hussein's first trial in August. Witnesses say police sprayed the women with tear gas and beat several of the protestors with batons. This first trial adjourned until September to investigate the status of al-Hussein's immunity.
Hussein told the Telegraph UK in August, "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.
Media Resources: CNN 9/7/09; BBC 9/8/09; Telegraph UK 8/4/09; Feminist Daily Newswire 8/5/09
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