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Sudanese court quashes death sentence on young raped wife

June 26, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - A Sudanese court Tuesday overturned a death sentence against a young woman convicted of killing her husband in self-defence as he tried to rape her, giving her five years in prison instead.

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Noura Hussein (Photo Amnesty International)

On 10 May, a court in Omdurman sentenced Noura Hussein, 19 years, to death after her husband’s family refused to accept a financial compensation requesting the capital punishment.

However, an appeal court in Khartoum decided to commute the verdict to five years beginning from the date of her arrest on 3 May 2017 and the payment of the blood money, 337,500 Sudanese pounds.

The decision comes after an international campaign carried out by Sudanese activist to draw the attention over women rights and the abolition of the death sentence in Sudan.

Amnesty International welcomed the quashing of the death sentence and called for a legal review in the Islamic penal code in line with the international standards of human rights which prohibit this cruel punishment.

“The 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,” said Seif Magango, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.

Noura had been married against her will three years ago. But, the marriage ceremony took place last year in April 2017. It was reported that the husband brothers and a cousin helped him to rape her for the first time.

Sudanese activist call to raise the minimum age for marriage to 18. The law authorizes to marry children over the age of 10 years.