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Christian girl, 16, gets 50 lashes for wearing 'indecent' knee-length skirt in Sudan
A 16-year-old Sudanese girl was lashed 50 times after a judge ruled her knee-length skirt was indecent, her family said today.
The mother of Christian teenager Silva Kashif said she is to sue police and the judge who imposed the sentence under Islamic shariah law.
Saying she only learned about her daughter's conviction after she had been lashed, mother Jenty Doro said the family's religion should have been taken into account.
Kashif, whose family comes from the south Sudanese town of Yambio, was arrested while walking to the market near her home in the Khartoum suburb of Kalatla last week, Doro told Reuters.
Doro said Khashif was taken to Kalatla court where she was convicted and punished by a female police officer in front of the judge.
'I only heard about it after she was lashed. Later we all sat and cried ... People have different religions and that should be taken into account' she said.
Kashif's lawyer Azhari al-Haj said he was preparing a case against the police and judge for arresting and sentencing an under-age girl. He said according to the law, people under 18 should not be given lashes.
'She was wearing a normal skirt and blouse, worn by thousands of girls. They didn't contact a guardian and punished her on the spot.'
Al-Haj said he was hoping to win compensation and to clear Kashif's record. 'We are also against the law itself. We want the law to be changed.'
Arrests for indecency, drunkenness and other public order offences are not uncommon in Khartoum which is governed by Islamic sharia law.
But the punishment of residents of the capital originating from the south remains a sensitive issue.
Women's groups argue the decency laws are too vague, giving the country's separate public order police too much freedom to decide what kind of dress is appropriate.