19-yr-old sentenced to death for murdering husband who raped her

Nilzete Santos. Image courtesy of Kiratiana Freelon

Nilzete Santos. Image courtesy of Kiratiana Freelon

In recent years, women and children's rights activists in Sudan have campaigned against forced unions and marriage of underage girls, a widespread phenomenon in a country where the law allows children over the age of 10 to marry.

Sodfa Daaji tweeted "The court is full".

BuzzFeed News reports people are rallying around 19-year-old Noura Hussein after a judge in Sudan sentenced her to death for killing her rapist - the man she was reportedly forced to marry. Al-Imam volunteered to represent the teen after her original lawyer took themselves off the case.

He said when Hussein reached out to her family for support, they handed her over to the police and reported the incident to them. As of about 4 p.m. on May 11, more than 136,000 people had signed the Change.org petition asking for Noura to be spared from the death penalty.

The next time he tried to rape her, she stabbed him to death and went back to her family.

After six days she says he recruited some of his cousins who allegedly held her down as he raped her.

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She returned to her family home on the outskirts of the capital Khartoum in April this year after her father said the marriage was cancelled but found that she had been duped and preparations for her wedding ceremony were under way. She was 16 when she was forced to get married. Groups such as Equality Now are writing to Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir to plead for clemency.

Supporters of Hussein flocked to the Criminal Court in Omdurman, Sudan's second-largest city, in protest during the trial. "We have to fight for her", said political activist Amjad Fareed in a Facebook post on Saturday.

Cases like Hussein's don't come to light often in Sudan, Salah said, because most young women who experience sexual abuse in marriage "don't raise their voices or say anything because of the social pressure or the social stigma".

"The case of Noura is different". One in three Sudanese women are married before the age of 18, says UN Women.

Magango, of Amnesty International, said that by applying the "cruel" death penalty to a rape victim, Sudanese authorities failed to acknowledge the violence Hussein endured.

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