Justice for Noura Hussein
After she was tricked and forced into marriage in Sudan, 19-year-old Noura Hussein was sent to prison for killing her husband as he tried to rape her. Now, she is waiting to see if she will be executed
Noura was just 16 when the first part of her forced marriage took place, arranged by her father and a man she didn’t want to marry. Noura insisted on finishing her high school studies so the marriage was never concluded. When she finished her final exams she decided to run away and live with her Aunt, and after a few weeks her father told her it was safe to return home.
But when she came home she realised she had been tricked and Noura, like many other women and girls in Sudan and in countries around the world, was forced into marriage.
Noura told her husband that she did not want to be touched, but he got his cousins to pin her down and he raped her. The next day he tried to rape Noura again – but this time she tried to defend herself and in the ensuing struggle, he died. When Noura ran to her family for help, her father turned her into the police, her family disowned her, and she was convicted of pre-meditated murder and sentenced to death.
Not only is the death penalty never an acceptable form of punishment, but legal systems like the one in Sudan should never criminalize women and girls like Noura instead of protecting them.
Show your support and write to the Sudanese Ministry of foreign affairs so we can keep up the pressure and demand justice for Noura now.
While in prison, Noura found out that she passed her high school exams, and dreams of studying law despite the risk of execution she is facing. Noura is far from the only girl who has had their lives turned upside down because of forced and early marriage. Sudan’s law allows girls to be married at a very young age – sometimes as young as 10 years old.