A global petition in support of a Sudanese girl who killed her husband, in defence, has gained over a million signatures as well as celebrity support. Noura Hussein (19) had killed her husband while he was trying to rape her. She was, however, given a death sentence for a “crime” which many are refusing to consider. There have been appeals by lawyers who are trying to save the girl’s life. The judgement has received international criticism and has sprung up fresh debates about forced marriages. People are in support of mercy for the teen girl.

What The Law Says

Currently, Sudanese law doesn’t recognise marital rape as a crime. According to Human Rights Watch, girls as young as 10 can be legally married in Sudan. This has called global attention to the dearth of women’s rights in the country. At the age of 15, Noura was married off to an older man. She had tried to escape him once before, by running away to her aunt’s house. However, her father forced her back to live with her husband’s family. Noura’s forced marriage has never been out of troubles she ultimately killed her rapist-husband in defence.

A brutal case of Marital Rape

According to a report in Time, after Hussein refused to have sex with the man, he allegedly raped her while his brother and cousins held her down. When the man attempted to rape her again the following day, she stabbed him to death. Her own parents turned her over to the police.

The girl’s lawyers had produced evidence of the alleged rape and violence against her in the court. However, her husband’s family denied all allegations stating it to be a matter between a married couple. The court, unfortunately, declared Noura as guilty of killing her rapist husband and sentenced her to death. Since then, people are uniting to overturn the judgement and to save her life.


There have been appeals for clemency or mercy for Noura and people have been uniting for #JusticeForNoura campaign. Celebrities such as Naomi Campbell, Mira Sorvino and Emma Watson have joined the campaign against the judgement.

Many tweets came out in support of #JusticeForNoura campaign.

Read: HRW, Delhi HC Condemn Death Penalty against Child Rape Convicts

Nimisha is an intern with SheThePeople.TV

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