Marital rape victim may be sentenced to death in Sudan
A young Sudanese woman who stabbed her husband to death after he raped her may face the death penalty. Activists in Sudan and abroad are campaigning to save her life.
On April 29, an Omdurman court judge found 19-year-old Noura Hussein guilty of killing her husband. She was charged with premeditated murder under article 130 of the Criminal Code which is punishable with the death penalty. The final verdict is scheduled to be pronounced on May 10.
Hussein’s parents, living in El Gezira, south of Khartoum, married her off at the age of 16 to a cousin she rejected. After the signing of the marital contract, she ran off to her aunt in eastern Sudan. She stayed there for three years while the husband was helping the family financially.
Her father tricked her to go back to her husband in El Abbasiya in Omdurman in early 2017. Her husband immediately wanted to consume the wedding, but she refused. After five days, with the help of some family members who held her, her husband raped her, she told the court.
According to her lawyer, she could not help but kill her husband out of self-defence. The next day, when he approached her again, she stabbed him with a knife in the chest, stomach and back.
She went to her parents. Her father then reported her to the police.
Muawya Khidir, member of Hussein's defence team, does not think Hussein deserves any sentence. She was defending herself at a time she was mentally and psychologically disturbed as a result of rape, he said. The team will appeal against the sentence.
The Sudanese law, based on the Islamic Sharia, does not recognise a rape of a woman by her husband. “A married woman must obey her husband. If the husband has paid the dowry and if he provides a suitable home, his wife can not refuse sexual intercourse,” Article 91 of the Sudanese Family Law states.
Many Arab women's rights activists consider the condemnation unjust as well. With the hashtag #JusticeForNoura they protest the fact that she has not been granted the right to self-defence against sexual assaults.
“Many people are citing Sharia law and saying that sex with her is his "right by marriage" - forgetting that marriage WITHOUT consent is illegitimate in Islam. Also, allowing other males into your bedroom to assist in raping your wife, is far from anything Islam condones,” journalist Yousra Elbagir said on her Twitter account.
(Sources: alrakoba.net, altaghyeer.info, 7DNEWS, vrt.be, duhasrambles.wordpress.com)
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