The death sentence of 19-year-old Noura Husein has sparked outrage across the globe. An international social media campaign #JusticeforNoura has gained a plethora of responses from human rights organisations and activists against the court’s order on May 10.
Noura Husein, a Sudanese teenager was apprehended after fatally stabbing her husband, who she says raped her as his relatives held her down.
Forced to marry at 15, Hussein ran away from home and sought refuge with her aunt for three years. She was tricked into returning by her father, who handed her over to her husband’s family.
It was after Hussein refused to consummate the marriage, her husband’s relatives 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,” Adil Mohamed Al-Imam, her lawyer, told CNN last week.
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.
Al-Imam said last week that the case has challenged societal expectations in Sudan that wives should submit to their husbands.
Noura’s story is extraordinary because she killed her abuser, and that is why she is being faulted for in the court of law.
Amnesty International is petitioning for the Sudanese government to repeal the death penalty against Hussein, and allow her a retrial.
The harrowing details of Hussein’s case have set social media and WhatsApp ablaze in Sudan. And in recent days the case has captured international attention with the hashtags #JusticeforNoura and #SaveNoura. Thousands of people have shared a change.org petition.
In recent years, women and children’s rights activists in Sudan have campaigned against forced unions and marriage of underage girls, a widespread phenomenon in a country where the law allows children over the age of 10 to marry.