Sudan Sentences Teen Girl to 20 Lashes for ‘Indecent Apparel’

AP Photo/Mosa'ab Elshamy
AP Photo/Mosa'ab Elshamy

A Sudanese court sentenced a 19-year-old woman to 20 lashes and a fine for her alleged inappropriate outfit at church and court.

Officials arrested Fardos Al-Toum and nine other young women at a church on June 25 because they wore “jeans and long shirts.” Al-Toum appeared in court last week to face her charges.

Unfortunately, the judge deemed her clothing inappropriate for court as well. The judge added another fine and 20 lashes for punishment. Muhamed Mustafa, the group’s lawyer, “lodged an appeal against the lashes.”

CNN reports:

Five of the women were ordered to pay fines. Two of them, including Al-Toum, had to pay 500 Sudanese pounds (about $82) and three were told to pay 50 pounds.

Four of them were cleared of the charge and immediately released. One other is due to stand trial on Sunday.

Sudan’s past is plagued with Christian persecutions and violence against women. Meriam Ibrahim captured international attention in 2014 when a Sudanese court sentenced her to death when she refused to renounce her Christian faith and accept Islam again. The court overturned her conviction but refused permission to leave the country. The court finally relented. Ibrahim, her husband, and their two children finally escaped to New Hampshire in August 2014.

In July, Christian pastors Michael and Pete faced the death penalty after a judge charged them with numerous offenses. Earlier this month, the judge dropped the serious charges, but still convicted them on lesser counts and released them on time served.

In 2009, police arrested 13 women and flogged 10 of them because they wore pants in public. A video uploaded in May 2011 shows a woman flogged in public because she wore pants. Another video from 2013 shows a woman flogged for “riding in a car with a man who wasn’t her husband or an immediate family member.” The woman cries out as a police officer circles around her with a whip.

“This is so you don’t get into cars anymore,” the officer viciously scolded the woman.