A case involving a Sudanese teen forced into marriage, which ended with the teenage bride killing her husband after an attempted rape has caused international outrage.
According to the Washington Post, 19-year-old Noura Hussein was convicted Thursday (May 10) of the premeditated murder of her husband. Her sentence is death by hanging. Yet as Hussein’s lawyer Ahmed Sebair explained to the Associated Press, Hussein was acting out of self-defense rather than malice.
Per Sebair, despite her objections Hussein’s parents manipulated their daughter into marrying her husband three years ago. Hussein however refused to consummate the marriage and after six days of abstaining her husband raped her with the help of three of his male relatives. The next day, he attempted to rape her again, but this time it resulted in a struggle leading to her fatally stabbing him with a knife. Hussein’s ordeal has generated a plethora of support from advocates, including Yasmeen Hassan, global executive director of Equality Now.
“Everything that’s happened to the girl from the time she was 16 at least has been a travesty of justice,” Hassan said. “Twenty years ago, maybe people would have let this go, but right now with the awareness of women’s rights… and in this era of the #MeToo movement, this is just not going to be able to stand.”
As of Saturday (May 12) a petition protesting Hussein’s conviction has garnered more than 178,000 signatures while #JusticeForNoura has become a global campaign that’s helping to define the current shift in Islamic culture.
“There’s a generational divide if you will, when it comes to the issue of Noura,” Moayad Baba who helped organized the #JusticeForNoura campaign and rallies told NPR. Baba explained Noura’s estrangement from her family and traditional Islamic law made her sentencing possible.
“(The family) could have actually forgiven her and pardoned her or they could have taken money — ‘blood money’ as they call it — as compensation for the killing, but the family has called for her execution,” Hassan said to the publication.
Hussein’s lawyers will appeal this sentencing before the window to do so closes on May 25.