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'Hugely Welcome News' for Teen Who Killed Rapist Husband

Sudan's Noura Hussein has death sentence overturned, gets 5 years in prison instead
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 27, 2018 8:27 AM CDT
(Some) justice for Noura Hussein has been doled out in Sudan, supporters say.   (Getty Images/sanchairat)

(Newser) – The #JusticeforNoura hashtag and a Change.org petition didn't free an African teen from prison, but it may have helped save her life. The BBC reports an appeals court in Sudan has nixed the death sentence for 19-year-old Noura Hussein, who was sentenced by an Islamic court in May to die by hanging for killing her husband after she says he raped her. Per CNN, Hussein's family was also ordered by the court to pay nearly $19,000 in "blood money" to the deceased 35-year-old man's family. Hussein's five-year prison sentence will include time already served, per the Independent. Her case generated international outcry not only over her specific predicament (she was forced into marrying a man 16 years older than her when she was just a young teen), but also on child marriage and marital rape overall in Sudan.

CNN notes the appeals court was swayed by the fact that it believed Hussein when she said she'd found the knife she killed her husband with under a pillow while they struggled—not taken it from the kitchen as prosecutors alleged. While pleased with the "hugely welcome news" on her sentence, Amnesty International says it's not enough for Sudan, which allows children to be married at age 10 and doesn't outlaw marital rape. "[This] must now lead to a legal review to ensure that Noura Hussein is the last person to go through this ordeal," a director with the East African arm of the group says. "Sudanese authorities must take this opportunity to start reforming the laws around child marriage, forced marriage, and marital rape, so that victims are not the ones who are penalized." Hussein's lawyers say they plan to appeal both the payment and the prison sentence. (Read more Sudan stories.)

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