August 24, 2018

Sudan prosecutor tries to reinstate death sentence for child bride Noura

The teenager's plight put the spotlight on forced marriage and how it deprives girls of education.

The state prosecutor in Sudan is trying to reinstate the death penalty for Noura Hussein - the teenager whose sentence caused an outcry worldwide.

Forced into a child marriage, she killed her abusive husband as he attempted to rape her. 

Noura received a death sentence but campaigners, including Theirworld supporters, rallied around the hashtag #JusticeForNoura and appealed to the Sudanese government for clemency.

The sentence was reduced by an appeal court to five years in prison. But Noura's legal team was also appealing that on the grounds of self-defence, arguing she was the victim of child marriage and rape.

"Now, however, the state prosecutor has filed a petition for the death penalty to be reinstated," said a statement from the women's and girls' rights organisation Equality Now. 

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#JusticeForNoura

16 year old Noura Hussein dreamed of becoming a teacher. Instead, she was the victim of forced marriage, and now she's facing the death penalty. That's why hundreds of thousands of people are calling for #JusticeForNoura

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"This shocking news is gravely concerning, both for Noura's own life and for what it could mean for other women and girls in Sudan who suffer forced marriage and rape."

Noura's case turned the spotlight on child marriage- and how it deprives girls of education - marital rape and female rights in the northeast African nation.

Sudanese law allows children above 10 to be married with a judge's permission. One in three girls are married before they turn 18 and more than one in 10 by the age of 15.

Noura, who is now 19, was 16 when she was forced into a marriage contract by her father - but was allowed to finish school. 

The wedding eventually went ahead near Khartoum and she was raped by her 35-year-old husband as three of his male relatives restrained her.

The next day he tried to rape her again and she stabbed him during a struggle.

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