A 16-year-old Christian girl from southern Sudan said Friday she was lashed 50 times for wearing a skirt deemed indecent by authorities in the north who enforce a strict version of Islamic law.
Silva Kashif said she was arrested by a plain-clothed policeman in a Khartoum market last week for wearing a skirt beneath the knee. She was convicted of offending public morality and received 50 lashes in the courtroom.
"I was treated like a criminal," Kashif said in a telephone interview. "I am confused what to wear. The trousers were an issue. My skirt was beneath the knee. What more can I do? I am Christian. My tribe and my customs permit me to dress like this."
Human rights lawyer Azhari al-Haj said a legal team plans to sue the authorities for procedural mistakes and to exonerate Kashif.