A social media campaign has been launched in support of Noura Hussein, who says she was shocked to receive
the death sentence for killing her husband as he tried to r-pe her. Photograph: Amr Nabil/AP
The world is standing in solidarity with a 19-year-old Sudanese woman who has been sentenced to death by a court in Omdurman for stabbing her husband to death after he sexually assaulted her.
Noura Hussein was forced into marriage at the age of 16, after which she fled to her aunt’s house for protection, living there for three years.
Her father eventually tricked her into returning home by promising her that the arranged marriage had been terminated. She was then handed over to her husband’s family when she returned home.
Forced to live with her husband in the Sudanese capital Khartoum, she refused to consummate the marriage, until she was pinned down by members of his family, as he r-ped her.
“I was shocked by a number of men breaking into the apartment,” Noura told 7D News.
“I later found out they were my husband’s relatives. They asked me why I am rejecting intercourse with my husband, then they violently beat me, then grabbed and held me for him. He violently r-ped me, while they watched him.”
A day later, he attempted to r-pe her again without the help of his family.
“He did not get enough. The next day, he attempted to do the same on his own, but I managed to escape. I ran towards the kitchen where I had taken a knife, and I warned him saying, ‘please do not get closer to me, or one of us will die today.'”
He then approached her, saying he would see who would kill who first. As he attempted to snatch the knife from her, he injured her hand and bit her breasts in the process, according to 7D News. “Then I was able to stab him twice which led to his death.”
Noura went back to her village but when she arrived, her family disowned her and handed her over to the police. A judge passed the death sentence on Noura, after her husband’s family rejected compensation and demanded her execution.
Noura’s lawyer now has 15 days to appeal the sentence, with people across the world campaigning for her justice with the hashtags #SaveNoura and #JusticeForNoura. Her case has highlighted the issue of marital rape in Sudan, with many calling for it to be criminalised.
Noura had high hopes for her future before her marriage. She repeatedly spoke proudly about her academic achievements and had hoped to memorise the Quran and to become a teacher.