Death Sentence for Teen Who Killed Husband Who Raped Her

Supporters say 19-year-old Noura Hussein was acting in self-defense after forced marriage
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 11, 2018 10:53 AM CDT
Noura Hussein's legal team has 15 days to appeal her death sentence.   (Getty Images/sanchairat)

(Newser) – Forced marriage and marital rape are under the spotlight once again, this time emerging from a case in Sudan. There, 19-year-old Noura Hussein was sentenced to death Thursday for the stabbing death of her husband, whom she says she was made to marry and who then raped her with the help of his family. The Guardian reports Hussein was married off at the age of 15 or 16 (a Change.org petition says that's merely when she was told she had to go through with the marriage), but she fled and holed up with an aunt for three years—until she was fooled into a visit to the home of her own family, who promptly returned her to the man she was made to marry. After less than a week with him, she says, his brother and two others held her down while he raped her, and the next day when he tried it again, she stabbed him and fled to her parents, who brought her to the cops.

CNN notes the legal age of marriage in Sudan is 10, and that marital rape isn't against the law. Under Sharia, the husband's family could choose a pardon, financial compensation, or death for Hussein, per the Washington Post; they chose death. "When I left the court house the rapist's family were clapping with joy and had smug looks on their faces," a supporter who of Hussein's posted on Twitter. Hussein has plenty of people backing her up, and her cause has found its way online with a #JusticeForNoura hashtag and via the Change.org petition, which calls her actions self-defense. "It was a shocking moment" hearing she'd be put to death, Hussein told supporters. "I knew then that I [would] be executed, leaving my dreams unfulfilled." Her legal team has 15 days to file an appeal. (Marital rape isn't viewed the same as "normal" rape in many US states.)

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