Sudan trouser case woman jailed but not whipped

* Woman found guilty of indecency

* Spared lashes, but jailed after refusing fine

(Adds jailing)

KHARTOUM, Sept 7 (Reuters) - A Sudanese woman was found guilty of indecency and jailed on Monday for wearing trousers in a case that has attracted worldwide outcry, lawyers said.

Lubna Hussein was arrested at a Khartoum party in July with 12 other women and had faced the possibility of 40 lashes for wearing trousers deemed indecent. Ten of the women were flogged in July, she said.

Women have often been convicted of similar offences under Sudan's Islamic decency regulations in recent years and sentenced to beatings, say Hussein's supporters. They say she is the first to challenge such treatment.

The court in downtown Khartoum ordered her to pay a fine of 500 Sudanese pounds ($209), but she was later jailed for a month after refusing to pay, her lawyer Kamal Omar told reporters.

Hussein's case was seen as a test of the decency regulations, which many women activists say are vague and give individual police officers undue latitude to determine what is acceptable clothing for women.

A former reporter working for the United Nations at the time of her arrest, Hussein has publicised her case, posing in loose trousers for photos and calling for media support.

Reached by telephone after the verdict, Hussein said she would refuse to pay the fine: "I will not pay the money, and I will go to prison."

Lawyer Omar told Reuters on Monday his client had been taken to the capital's Omdurman Women's Prison, adding supporters would step up their campaign to call for an end to the indecency law. He said he also planned to appeal against the sentence.

"She was found guilty, but we know she is not guilty ... This is a clear violation of the constitution, of women's rights, and the peace agreement," said Yasser Arman, a a senior member of the former rebel Sudan People's Liberation Movement who attended the trial.

Ten of the other women arrested with Hussein pleaded guilty were whipped, Hussein said earlier.


Indecency cases are common in Sudan, where there is a large cultural gap between the mostly Muslim and Arab-oriented north and the mainly Christian south. Hussein's case prompted scores of women to gather near the court ahead of the verdict to support her.

Hussein argued her clothes, a pair of green slacks that she wore in court, were respectable and did not break the law.

"Lubna has given us a chance. She is very brave. Thousands of girls have been beaten since the 1990s, but Lubna is the first one not to keep silent," protester Sawsan Hassan el-Showaya told Reuters before the verdict.

Scuffles erupted before the court session began between the women and Islamists, who shouted religious slogans, denounced Hussein and her supporters as prostitutes and demanded a harsh punishment.

Riot police quickly cleared the scene, beating some protesters with batons. More than 40 women protesters were detained and later released on bail.

Hussein has said she resigned from her U.N. job to give up any legal immunity so she could continue with the case, prove her innocence and challenge the decency law.

U.N. officials have said the United Nations told Sudan that Hussein was immune from legal proceedings as she was a U.N. employee at the time of her arrest. But the case was allowed to proceed after Sudan's foreign ministry advised the court that Hussein was not immune. (Reporting by Andrew Heavens and Khalid Abdel Aziz; writing by Cynthia Johnston; editing by Andrew Roche)