Sudan male models fined for make-up 'indecency'

Image caption, Indecency laws can be used to ban anything from trousers to social contact between men and women

Seven Sudanese male models have been fined for wearing make-up by judges in northern Sudan, under controversial indecency laws.

The models and the woman who applied the make-up had been taking part in a show called Sudanese Next Top Model.

Their lawyer had argued that men frequently have to wear make-up to appear on television.

But the judges in Khartoum, where Islamic law applies, decided it was indecent for men to wear make-up.

The eight defendants were each ordered to pay 200 Sudanese pounds (£50; $80).

Under northern Sudan's indecency laws, they could have faced a jail term or been flogged.

The legislation was widely criticised last year when a female journalist was jailed for wearing trousers. She was later freed after a public outcry.

The models were among dozens of people arrested while they were leaving the fashion show in Khartoum in June.

Defence lawyer Adam Bakr Hassab said he disagreed with the judge's decision.

"The judge said that what happened is against the law and the traditions of the Sudanese people, so he made the punishment a fine," he told AFP news agency.

"It is not correct. But now it is a reality, it became a decision. There is no way to avoid this punishment. We will pay the fine and do our appeal later."

More on this story