Sentenced to Death for Self-Defense

In Sudan, a 19-year-old woman has been sentenced to death for killing her husband as he attempted to rape her.

Her husband’s family rejected the possibility of pardoning her and refused financial compensation, pushing instead for her execution.

Noura Hussein was forced into the marriage by her family when she was 15.

After successfully escaping and living with an aunt for three years, her family tricked her into returning and delivered her to her husband, who recruited his family’s help to hold her down as he raped her.

When he attempted to rape her again the next day, she stabbed him repeatedly with a knife, killing him.

When she turned to her family for support following the incident of self-defense, they turned her in to the police.

Spousal and marital rape are so common in Sudan that a case like this has never received so much media attention, and women’s rights advocates are hoping that this will change societal perceptions of marital rape in Sudan.

The case was decided by a Sharia court, which follows Islamic religious law, and found Hussein guilty of premeditated murder and sentenced her to death by hanging.

“Under Sharia law, the husband’s family can demand either monetary compensation or death. They chose death and now the death penalty has been handed down.” – Badr Eldin Salah, an activist from the Afrika Youth Movement

Her legal team has 13 days to file an appeal.

“Noura Hussein is a victim and the sentence against her is an intolerable act of cruelty. The Sudanese authorities must quash this grossly unfair sentence and ensure that Noura gets a fair retrial that takes into account her mitigating circumstances.” – Amnesty International representative Seif Magango

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