This is horrific. A teen girl has been sentenced to death by hanging after the man she was forced to marry at 15 raped her and she stabbed him in self-defense.
Sudanese woman Noura Hussein, 19, has been sentenced to death by hanging for fatally stabbing the man she was forced to marry, whom she claims raped her as his relatives pinned her down. “She’s still in complete shock after her sentencing today,” Dr. Adil Mohamed Al-Imam, one of Hussein’s lawyers, told CNN. Al-Imam volunteered to represent the teen after her original lawyer took themselves off the case. He added that his client wasn’t only abandoned by the law, but also by her family.
Hussein’s supporters packed into the courtroom in Omdurman, Sudan, and spilled out into the hall outside as the judge announced the death penalty on May 10. Her husband’s family refused an option to pardon her and turned down an offer to be compensated financially, requesting instead that she be executed. Her legal team only has 15 days to appeal the decision.
The legal age of marriage in Sudan is only 10 years old, and marital rape is legal in the country. Hussein was forced to marry at age 15, and subsequently ran away from her home. She sought refuge for three years with her aunt, but was eventually tricked by her father, who handed her over to her husband’s family. After the teenager refused to consummate the marriage, her husband’s relatives allegedly held her down while he raped her. “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 the news outlet. The husband attempted to rape her again the following day, which is when she stabbed him to death. She then went to her parents for help, but they turned her into the police.
The teen’s lawyer said that this case has challenged societal expectations that Sudanese women should submit to their husbands. The case has garnered international attention and outrage, having been shared all over social media and WhatsApp with the hashtags #JusticeforNoura and #SaveNoura. Over 140,000 people have also signed a petition to help her, which you can sign here.
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