Noura Hussein, a teenager whose murder case has shone the 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, has reportedly been sentenced to death for killing her husband.
19-year-old Sudanese woman was 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 death penalty for Noura Hussein was confirmed by a judge on Thursday after her husband’s family rejected the possibility of financial compensation and instead asked for her to be executed.
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.”
Forced to marry at 15, Hussein ran away from home and sought refuge with her aunt for three years. 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.
When he attempted to rape her again the following day, she stabbed her husband to death before going to her own parents, who handed her over to police.
“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 told CNN.
A day later her husband tried to rape her again, and she stabbed him to death. When she went to her parents for support, they turned her in to the police. One supporter, who attended the hearing, posted details on Twitter:
“They allowed us to enter the courtroom and I got to sit in the front with a colleague of mine. We waited at least 20 minutes until the judge came and [asked] Noura to enter. Noura was alone [and] no one from her family came with her.
“There was a good amount of supporters that were on her side. They reintroduced the case and so the judge eventually asked the rapist’s family what they want to happen. The judge also did mention that they should forgive her. But the family chose execution.
“When I left the court house the rapist’s family were clapping with joy and had smug looks on their faces – I was disgusted.”