Teen flogged over skirt

2009-11-28 15:57

Khartoum - A Sudanese Christian teenager has been lashed 50 times for wearing what a judge considered an "indecent" knee-length skirt, her lawyer said on Saturday.

The family of Silva Kashif, 16, plans on suing police and the judge, said attorney Azhari al-Hajj who insisted that the verdict was in violation of Sudanese law because the girl is a minor.

Kashif "is a minor, not a Muslim and did not have the right to get in touch with her parents" before the verdict was served, Hajj told AFP.

"These are violations of the law and that is why we plan on suing the police and the judge," the lawyer added.

Kashif was strolling in a south Khartoum neighbourhood earlier this month wearing a knee-length skirt when a policeman arrested her and marched her to court. She was sentenced on November 21.

"The judge sentenced her to 50 lashes and she was immediately flogged. The whole thing lasted 30 minutes," said Hajj, who is also a human rights activist.

Sudan applies Islamic law in the Muslim north but it is not in force in the Christian and semi-autonomous south, which fought a two-decade war with the north that ended in 2005.

Kashif was the latest person targeted in Sudan on charges of violating a law against public indecency.

Last month, a judge sentenced two women to 20 lashes for wearing trousers and no headscarves.

Sudanese journalist Lubna Ahmed Hussein drew international attention to the law following her arrest in July, along with 12 other women, for wearing "indecent trousers."

Hussein faced a punishment of 40 lashes but instead the court ordered her to pay a fine which she refused. She was jailed briefly until a Sudanese journalist group paid her fine.

She is now in France promoting a book about her ordeal.

Earlier this month Nigerian football star Stephen Worgu, who plays for a local Sudanese outfit, was sentenced to 40 lashes for driving under the influence of alcohol.

Read more on:    sudan
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