On 16 August 2015, Ferdous Al Toum was found guilty of ‘indecent or immoral dress’ and sentenced to 20 lashes and a fine of 500 Sudanese pounds.
She was arrested along with 11 other young women on 25 June who were leaving a church ceremony at the Evangelical Baptist Church in Khartoum North.
The women were all wearing skirts or trousers, yet were accused of ‘indecent or immoral dress’. After they were arrested, the women were kept in the police station for over 24 hours, where they say they were subjected to degrading treatment and humiliating verbal abuse.
Charged again for her clothing
Ferdous was not only sentenced for her appearance outside the church – she was charged again for the clothes she wore in the courtroom at her trial.
The judge decided to defy all proper legal proceedings by bringing the same charges against her twice, as he believed the dress Ferdous wore to court to be ‘indecent’.
She was sentenced to a large fine for her appearance in court (paid on her behalf by activists and supporters), as well as the lashes.
Following an appeal by Ferdous’ lawyers, her conviction was finally quashed by the Court of Appeal on 14 October 2015.