Earlier this month, journalist, rights activist, and 2017 Mandela Washington Fellow Wini Omer was arrested on the streets of Khartoum on charges of "indecent and immoral acts" ... for wearing pants.
Omer's arrest came after she had attended the hearing of 24 women charged with indecency for wearing pants during a private women-only party. While charges were dropped against the 24 women accused of wearing pants and tight skirts, the ruling of Omer was delayed until December 21.
The judge's decision came upon the request of the defense to hear three witnesses, including the director of the Center For Training And Protection Of Women And Child’s Rights (SEEMA) Nahid Jabrallah, and two other people who were present at the moment of Omer's arrest, according to Sudan Tribune News.
Omer denied the charges of indecent clothing before the judge of Aldaym Court, Kamal Ali al-Zaki.
In her statements, she stressed she is a "Muslim and she knows her religion well".
"What I wear is not an indecent dress, but a dress worn by all the girls on the public street."
She further confirmed that her head was half covered at the moment of the arrest.
She posted a video on social media explaining how the incident happened. After the judge and the witnesses at her second court session found her clothing rather "decent", the police officer who conducted the arrest said, "he did not like the way she walked".
In her video, she criticizes article 152 which prohibits indecent acts, such as wearing "immoral" or "indecent" clothing and calls upon people’s participation in changing the law.
Monitiser Ibrahim is a journalist who was arrested after visiting Omer in detention.
The U.S. embassy expressed concern over the arrest of Omer and called upon Khartoum to review, amend, and even abolish article 152, as well as protect basic freedoms of expression.
Some government officials, including Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour, expressed intentions to amend the "controversial laws".
On Thursday, December 21, charges were dropped against Omer by the judge of the Public Order Court, Kamal al-Din al-Zaki, in al-Deem district, south of Khartoum.
The ruling came after the judge challenged the testimony of the public order police officer complainant, saying it "demonstrated a hostile intent" against Omer.
Omer shared a post on her Facebook page commenting on the verdict. She expressed her frustration with the legal system in her country and called for the removal of article 152.
"I am sad that I’m in a country that prosecutes us by law and accuses us of what it calls indecent and obscene clothing. I am sad that hundreds of women are convicted on daily basis with this article and the dignity of women and men in Sudan is constantly humiliated under the pretext of maintaining public order. I say again, there is no compromise on personal freedoms," she wrote.