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Page last updated at 13:20 GMT, Tuesday, 8 September 2009 14:20 UK

Sudan 'trousers woman' released

Lubna Hussein
Ms Hussein had wanted to make this a test case for women's rights in Sudan

A female Sudanese journalist, jailed for a month after being convicted of "dressing indecently" by wearing trousers, has been freed after one day.

Lubna Ahmed Hussein was sent to prison after refusing to pay a fine of about $200 (£122), saying she did not want to "give the verdict any legitimacy".

Mohedinne Titawi, of the Sudanese Union of Journalists, said the union had paid the fine to secure her release.

Ms Hussein, in her 30s, had faced a penalty of up to 40 lashes.

International rights groups criticised the trial from the start, with the UN on Tuesday saying the charges against her breached international law.

Crowds of protesters

Before the verdict, Ms Hussein had said she wanted her trial to become a test case for women's rights.

She resigned from her job at the UN, which would have given her immunity.

During the sentencing hearing on Monday dozens of people gathered outside the court - some supporting Ms Hussein, others objecting to her stand.

She was arrested in July together with 12 other women who were wearing trousers.

Ms Hussein said several of the women pleaded guilty and were given 10 lashes immediately.

She said several of those punished were from the mainly Christian and animist south, even though non-Muslims are not supposed to be subject to Islamic law.

During the trial, Ms Hussein argued that she had done nothing wrong under Sudan's indecency law.



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