Sudan court scraps teen's death term in marital rape case

2018-06-26 21:51
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A Sudan court on Tuesday commuted the death sentence of a teenager for killing her husband who she said had raped her, instead imposing a five-year jail term, her lawyer said.

A lower court had sentenced Noura Hussein to death for the "intentional murder" of her husband, whom she said raped her after being forced to marry him at the age of 16 by her father.

The death sentence triggered international outrage from the United Nations and global rights groups, and her lawyer filed an appeal against the lower court's ruling.

"The appeals court has cancelled her execution and sentenced her to five years in jail," Hussein's lawyer Al-Fateh Hussein told AFP.

"The jail term is effective from the time she was arrested," he said, adding that his client had also been fined 337 500 Sudanese pounds ($12 000).

Hussein, now aged 19, has been held in a women's prison since May 2017.

Amnesty International, which had been part of a "Justice For Noura" campaign, confirmed Hussein's death sentence had been scrapped.

Hussein was wed against her will to Abdulrahman Hammad, with the initial marriage ceremony involving the signing of a contract between her father and her husband.

In April 2017, she was forced to move into her husband's home after completing high school, Amnesty said in May.

When she refused to consumate the marriage, her husband invited two of his brothers and a male cousin to help him rape her.

"On 2 May 2017, the three men held Noura Hussein down while Abdulrahman raped her," the rights group said.

"The next morning he tried to rape her again but she managed to escape to the kitchen where she grabbed a knife.

"In the ensuing scuffle, Abdulrahman sustained fatal knife wounds."

Hussein fled to her family home after the incident but her father handed her to the police, Amnesty said.

During her trial in July 2017, the court found her guilty of "intentional murder" after applying an outdated law that does not recognise marital rape, it added.

There has been increased protest in recent years against child marriage in Sudan, where legally those over the age of 10 can marry.

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