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REGIONS:

Reporter's trial postponed

(ANHRI/IFEX) - ANHRI reports that the trial of Lubna Al Hussein has been postponed by the Khartoum criminal court until 4 August 2009 amid a large media presence.

While covering the trial, the Sudanese police detained correspondents from Reuters, Alhurra channel and Sundanese newspapers "Al Midan" and "Arjas Al Horreya". The police confiscated the notebook and recorder of "Al Midan" reporter Abd Al Kader.

Lubna rejected a suggestion from the head of the Sudanese Reporters Union, Mohi El Din Titawi, to settle the the case in exchange for a promise that she would not dress up in a "sensational" manner again. Lubna also refused a presidential pardon offered to the three women who were prosecuted by the public discipline authority.

ANHRI reiterates its support for the Sudanese reporter and all Sudanese women who are subject to violence and oppression under pretense of legal processes. ANHRI requests that the government amend article 152 of the criminal law which is oppressive to women and considers such legislation an unconstitutional encroachment on freedoms.

Lubna was put on trial, accused of "sensational dressing up". The general discipline police considered Lubna's apparel to be a threat to the values and virtues of the Sudanese society. This accusation has only one punishment, to be flogged 40 times in public, as per article 152 of the Sudanese criminal law of 1991. It is believed that this trial is actually a retaliation against the reporter for her writings criticising the Sudanese regime and extremists.

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