Sudan sentences teen to death for killing husband during rape

Charlene Craig
May 12, 2018

A teen bride in Sudan has been sentenced to hang for stabbing the man she was forced to marry - after he raped her while his cousins held her down.

When Hammad refused to consummate the marriage, her husband invited two of his brothers and a male cousin to help him rape her, the rights group alleged. As of about 4 p.m. on May 11, more than 136,000 people had signed the Change.org petition asking for Noura to be spared from the death penalty. After that she tried to hide from their parents, but they said it to the police.

The case of Noura Hussein has shone a spotlight on the issues of forced marriage and marital rape in Sudan, where the legal age of marriage is only 10 and marital rape is legal.

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Her lawyer has 15 days to appeal and is planning to do so. She was tricked into returning by her father, who handed her over to her husband's family.

A Sharia court, which follows Islamic religious law, found Hussein guilty of premeditated murder last month and on Thursday officially sentenced her to death by hanging.

Noura Hussein had no desire to get married. Across social media, Sudanese activists and supporters in Europe, Australia and Washington have rallied around Hussein.

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Campaign groups such as Equality Now say they are writing to Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir to plead for clemency, arguing that the judgement is against the Sudanese constitution.

"Noura Hussein is a victim and the sentence against her is an intolerable act of cruelty", Seif Magango, Amnesty International's Deputy Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes, wrote in a statement. A group of Sudanese and worldwide activists have been visiting Hussein in prison, translating letters of support from across the globe and working with her lawyers to appeal the case. "We have to fight for her", said political activist Amjad Fareed in a Facebook post on Saturday. But Hussein's case was different. In 2015, Tunisia became the only Arab country to take a formal stance against marital violence and rape. "They chose death and now the death penalty has been handed down". The man's family Nury requires that the death sentence was carried out.

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