Noura Hussein fights order to pay Ksh.1M to dead husband’s family


Noura Hussein. Photo/CNN
Noura Hussein, a 19-year-old Sudanese woman, was sentenced to death by a court for stabbing to death a man she was forced to marry after he raped her. Photo/CNN

In Summary

  • Noura was raped as her in-laws held her down but she managed to break free, killing her husband in the process.
  • The court found her guilty and gave a death sentence, a ruling that was later overturned but with an order for her to pay a fine of Ksh.1.8million to her in-laws.
  • Human rights activists say Noura is being punished for a crime she did not commit while the perpetrators walk free.

Noura Hussein has appealed the court sentence for a Ksh.1.8million payment to the family of her deceased husband.

The Sudanese teenager is also fighting an order for her to serve a five-year jail term for killing the man while he raped her.

She was forcefully married off at 16 to a significantly older man, who forced himself on her as three of his male relatives pinned her down.

When he attempted to do it a second time, Noura fought him off and stabbed him with a knife.

The man died and Noura was convicted of murder and sentenced to death.

However, the death sentence sparked international outrage and an appeal to overturn the ruling was filed on the May 24, 2018.

Noura later won her first case against the sentence but was ordered to pay a fine of SD337,000 (US $18,600, Ksh.1.8million) to her in-laws and serve a five years in prison despite having acted in self defense.

According to activists and human rights organisations, Noura is being punished for a crime she did not commit while the perpetrators walk scot free.

“It is not right that a girl can be raped and then be required to serve a jail term for defending herself from her assailant. The court must do right by Noura and by extension, the women of Sudan.

“This appeal is important because to ask Noura to serve a prison term for fighting off a rapist, is to tell female citizens that they do not matter and that they do not have rights; which is not the case,” said Judy Gitau-Nkuranga, the Africa Regional Coordinator for Equality Now.

They further noted that the Sudanese law is clear on matters of self-defense having signed and ratified conventions that protect human rights.

“We therefore call on the Sudanese Government to ensure that the rule of law prevails and justice is served.

“Sudan has taken a positive step by overturning the death sentence, and it is vitally important that this is honored without  contravention of obligations under international instruments,”she added

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Story By Wangui Ngechu
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