A 19-year-old Sudanese woman has been sentenced to death for fatally stabbing the man she was forced to marry, who she says raped her as his relatives held her down.
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.
Hussein's supporters filled the courtroom in Omdurman, Sudan, and overflowed into the hall outside as the judge announced the death penalty on Thursday. Her husband's family refused an option to pardon her and rejected financial compensation, requesting that she be executed instead, report CNN and The Guardian.
The case has attracted widespread attention on social media, where a campaign Justice for Noura has been trending on Twitter.
Her legal team now has 15 days to appeal the sentence.
After her initial sentence, Hussein told supporters: “It was a shocking moment when the judge convicted me with murder. I knew then that I [would] be executed, leaving my dreams unfulfilled.”
The case, which once again highlights the issue of forced marriage and marital rape in a number of countries, is striking for its shocking details.
Married by her family at 16, Noura fled to take refuge at an aunt’s house for three years before she was tricked into returning home by her own family, who then handed her over to her husband’s family.
According to her supporters – including the activist group Equality Now, which is backing a petition organised on her behalf – Hussein had been with her husband for six days when he raped her with the assistance of his brother, a relative, and a witness, who held her down.
Image credit: The Guardian