In July 2009 the young journalist Lubna Ahmed Hussein was one of many women arrested in a Khartoum café by the Khartoum State public order police (POP) for wearing trousers. The officers were looking for women they deemed to be “dressed indecently” under Article 152 of the Public Order Act of 1996 and Article 152 of the Criminal Act, instituted by the Islamist government that took power in 1989, led by President Omar al-Bashir. Soon after coming to power, the president highlighted the need for Sudanese woman to be “ideal Muslim women” and made wearing the veil mandatory in all government institutions. The POP (now called community police) raids parties, cafés, and even homes to search for “immoral acts.” In 2008 at least forty-three thousand women in Sudan were reportedly arrested and lashed on charges of wearing indecent...

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