The Public Order Court in Khartoum North this morning dealt with the case of one of the ten Christian women students charged with wearing indecent dress.
A group of 12 women students were detained by the Public Order Police on Thursday evening when they were leaving the Baptist church in El Izba, Khartoum North, because of their “scandalous outfits”.
The young women, wearing trousers and skirts, were transferred to a police station, where two of them were acquitted on Friday. The agents of the Public Order Police had reconsidered their opinion about their clothes. The ten others were charged with “deeds against the public morality” under Article 152 of the 1990 Criminal Code.
Muhanad Mustafa Miir, member of the Justice Centre for Legal Consultancy and head of the defence team, told Radio Dabanga that the judge this morning dealt with the hearing of the prosecutor and the testimony of a prosecution witness concerning one of the students. The hearing of the defence witnesses will take place on 6 July.
Three other sessions have been scheduled for the other cases. The judge refused to handle the case of six other students, and referred them to a supervising judge, Miir said.
He noted that the trial session attracted “significant interest” from other lawyers and laymen. “The defence team now consist of six lawyers. Article 152 does not describe what exactly falls under indecent outfit. It is left to agents of the Public Order Police to decide what it means.
“The young women attended a religious festivity in the church, and were wearing fancy dress. The charges are an insult to the church,” the lawyer stressed. “Furthermore, the students were forced to change their clothes inside the police station, which is an affront to their dignity.”