Three Christian women were found guilty of indecency yesterday at Sudan’s Public Order Court following their arrest in June for wearing trousers and skirts, reports CSW.

Nasra Omer Kakoum, Wegdan Aba Alla Salih and Uthan Omer Eljaily were fined 500 Sudanese pounds for indecent or immoral dress under Article 152 of the Sudanese Criminal Code. This was later reduced to 50 Sudanese pounds (approximately $8).

The women were part of a larger group of Christians from the Nuba Mountains and were leaving a service at El Isba Baptist Church in Khartoum when they were arrested. Two were later released without charge, four also stood trial yesterday but were found innocent. One still awaits trial.

The Guardian reported that at an earlier trial, one of the girls, Fardos Al Toum, 19, narrowly escaped a potential punishment of 40 lashes. According to her lawyer, Muhamad Mustafa she was instead given a lecture “about the appearance of decent women”.

The report says the case has been one “that human rights groups say is further damning evidence of the government’s intolerance to its Christian population”.