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Khartoum court acquits activist accused of wearing indecent dress

December 21, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - A Khartoum state judge on Thursday has cleared a Sudanese journalist of criminal indecent clothing charges saying the security agents intended to target her.

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Wini Omer (Facebook photo)

On Sunday 10 December the security agents arrested Wini Omer after attending the hearing of 24 women charged with indecency for wearing tight trousers and short skirts during a private women-only party. She is also a human rights defender, and 2017 Mandela Washington Fellow.

On Thursday, Kamal al-Din al-Zaki, a judge of the Public Order Court in al-Deem district, south of Khartoum, said that the testimony of the complainant who is a public order police officer before the court "demonstrated a hostile intent" against Wini.

Following what, the court based its judgment on the clothes that Wini wore last Sunday saying her long skirt is a decent dress and acquitted the activist.

The ruling is seen as a new failure for the Public Order Police (POP) and discredits its action. Last week, the court order to release 24 girls accused of indecent clothing.

Under Article 152 of the Criminal Code, the POP can arrest anyone who isn’t dressed appropriately.

Commenting the verdict on its Facebook page, Wini deplored the codified violation of the Sudanese women rights and the daily discrimination they face in the east African nation.

"I am sad that I’m in a country that prosecutes us by law and accuses us of what it calls indecent and obscene clothing. I am sad that hundreds of women are convicted on daily basis with this article and the dignity of women and men in Sudan is constantly humiliated under the pretext of maintaining public order," she wrote.

In a related development, another court has written off a case against another activist who supported Wini Omer at the time of her arrest.

(ST)