Sudanese teen bride kills husband during rape

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Vastly rural Sudan neither outlaws child marriage nor has laws penalizing marital rape.

Sodfa Daaji tweeted "The court is full".

A court in Sudan has sentenced to death a 19-year-old girl for murdering her husband who happens to be her cousin after he raped her. Al-Imam volunteered to represent the teen after her original lawyer took themselves off the case.

"Noura's lawyers say they plan to appeal against the decision, but we also need strong worldwide support from organisations such as the African Union, the United Nations and the European Union to support her". A change.org petition has also got thousands of signatures. When Hussein's husband tried raping her the next day she stabbed him, killing him in the process.

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The death sentence was passed by a judge in a courtroom in Omdurman, Sudan, on Thursday, May 10. Hussein was forced to marry at age 15, and subsequently ran away from her home.

After six days she says he recruited some of his cousins who allegedly held her down as he raped her. Later, she was sent to her husband's family, despite her father's claims that the marriage was cancelled. Groups such as Equality Now are writing to Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir to plead for clemency. People gathered to support Noura for her last trial.

Cases like Hussein's don't come to light often in Sudan, Salah said, because most young women who experience sexual abuse in marriage "don't raise their voices or say anything because of the social pressure or the social stigma". But Hussein's case was different.

The execution of a young woman, a victim of gender based violence, the group wrote, "is a regress in the eyes of global law and an irreparable damage for Sudan's and perhaps more broadly Africa's worldwide reputation". One in three Sudanese women are married before the age of 18, says UN Women. The family of the victim chooses the punishment for the murderer, demanding either pardon, or monetary compensation, or the death penalty. "In many countries, victims like Noura would be provided services to ensure that they overcome the trauma of their experiences", said Equality Now's Global Director Yasmeen Hassan.

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