Sudan teen who killed rapist husband faces new calls for death penalty
Noura Hussein got a jail sentence after an international outcry. Prosecutors seek to overturn the ruling that spared her execution
The Guardian (UK), August 24, 2018 | https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2018/aug/24/sudan-teen-who-killed-rapist-husband-faces-new-calls-for-death-penalty
Noura Hussein had faced execution for premeditated murder but after a campaign the verdict was quashed and she was given a jail sentence for manslaughter. Photograph Amnesty International
State prosecutors in Sudan are calling for the death penalty to be reinstated for a young woman who was sentenced to five years in jail for killing her abusive husband. Noura Hussein, 19, was found guilty of premeditated murder in May and had faced execution. But a month later, after a high profile campaign, the verdict was quashed and she was given a jail sentence and fined for manslaughter. However, it has emerged that prosecutors are seeking to overturn the latest ruling and reinstate the death penalty.
Hussein was forced to marry at 16. She fled the marriage, but was tricked into returning to her husband by family members. She stabbed him as he tried to rape her.
Judy Gitau, a human rights lawyer at Equality Now, which is campaigning on Hussein’s behalf, said the development was extremely concerning. “We reiterate our calls to the Sudanese authorities to ensure that the rule of law is observed,” said Gitau. “The Sudanese government took a positive step forward for women’s and girls’ rights by overturning Noura’s death sentence. There should be no regression on this.”
Equality Now is asking Hussein’s supporters to send letters of concern to Sudan’s attorney general, Omer Ahmed Mohamed, the justice minister Dr Idris Ibrahim Jameel, and the National Commission for Human Rights of Sudan.
Asked how she was coping in prison, Hussein told the Guardian she had applied to study law at university. Her lawyers said she had been offered a scholarship to study at the Open University of Sudan.
Sudan allows girls as young as 10 to be married. More than a third of girls in Sudan are married before 18 according to the UN, and 12% are wed before they reach 15.