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#JusticeForNoura Human rights activists race against time to save 19yr old raped Sudanese teen from hangman

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Her lawyers have 15 days to appeal the death by hanging sentence.

play Noura Hussein was sentenced to death by a Sharia court after she stabbed her husband who raped her as his relatives pinned her down. (How Kenya)

 

  • Noura Hussein was sentenced to death by a Sharia court after being found guilty of premeditated murder last month and was, on Thursday, officially sentenced to death by hanging.
  • Campaigners are now calling on Sudan’s president Omar al-Bashir to pardon her, arguing that she was forced into a child marriage and had acted in self-defence.
  • Sudan is ranked 165 out of 188 countries on the UN’s Gender Inequality Index and the legal age of marriage is only 10 and marital rape is legal.

A 19-year-old girl in Sudan is awaiting a date with the hangman after she stabbed her husband who raped her as his relatives pinned her down. Now, human rights campaigner across the world are fighting to save her life.

Noura Hussein was sentenced to death by a Sharia court after being found guilty of premeditated murder last month and was, on Thursday, officially sentenced to death by hanging.

 

Campaigners are now calling on Sudan’s president Omar al-Bashir to pardon her, arguing that she was forced into a child marriage and had acted in self-defence.

According to one of her lawyers, the 19-year-old teen was forced into marriage by her parents three years ago and had initially fled her husband, refusing to consummate the marriage,

“She’s still in complete shock after her sentencing today,” Adil Mohamed Al-Imam, one of Hussein’s lawyers, told CNN.

play Noura Hussein and her late husband. (twitter)

 

Noura says her father made her contractually marry her cousin when she was 16, but she refused to accept the union and sought refuge with a relative for three years.

She only returned to her family home found on the outskirts of the capital Khartoum in April last year after her father informed her that the marriage had been cancelled but on reaching home she found out that she had been duped and preparations for her wedding ceremony were under way.

 

And to complete the marriage, she had to sleep with her husband.

“His brother and two cousins tried to reason with her, when she refused she was slapped and ordered into the room. One held her chest and head, the others held her legs,”  Al-Imam said, describing the rape incident.

When he attempted to rape her again the next day, when the two were alone, she managed to grab a knife he had used to threaten her and stabbed him to death with it.

That was on May 3 last year. Hussein has been in prison since.

Also read: A tale of 5 bold Kenyan women with nerves of steel who inspired change at a great personal cost

play #JusticeForNoura (Twitter)

 

The case has exposed the serious problems surrounding forced marriage and marital rape in Sudan and as such as became an internet sensation, with people across the world expressing their support for Noura under the hashtag #JusticeForNoura.

Over 118,497 people have signed an online petition against the ruling.

“Noura is a victim, not a criminal, and should be treated as such. In many countries, victims like Noura would be provided services to ensure that they overcome the trauma of their experiences,” said Equality Now’s Global Director Yasmeen Hassan.

 

Sudan is ranked 165 out of 188 countries on the UN’s Gender Inequality Index and the legal age of marriage is only 10 and marital rape is legal.

Noura’s lawyers say they plan to appeal against the death sentence and have 15 days to do so.