June 27, 2010 / 9:06 AM / in 7 years

Sudan police arrest models after fashion show

KHARTOUM (Reuters) - Sudanese police briefly detained more than 20 models, make-up artists and designers after a rare mixed-sex fashion show in Khartoum, participants said on Saturday.

<p>A Sudanese model receives final touch-ups backstage during Sudan's first mixed-gender fashion show in the capital Khartoum, June 25, 2010. REUTERS/Stringer</p>

Amateur models taking part in the “Sudanese Next Top Model Fashion Show” told Reuters they were rounded up late on Thursday by Sudan’s public order police, a body known for its crackdowns on indecent dress and drinking in the Muslim north.

Police were not available to comment on Thursday’s arrests outside a club in the capital’s Khartoum 2 district.

All of the detainees were released on Friday but at least six were told to report to the police on Sunday to face unspecified charges, said one participant.

“They came to the club after the show and arrested between 20 and 30 people -- not just models, but people doing the make- up, the people who provided the clothes,” said the participant, who asked to remain anonymous.

“There was nothing bad about the clothes. There were wedding dresses, traditional Sudanese clothes, suits, clothes from local shops and tobs (traditional Sudanese wraparound dresses).”

Other participants said there had been fashion shows before in Sudan, many of them held in private. But Thursday’s event was thought to be one of the first public events to feature male and female models sharing the catwalk.

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