‘Justice for Noura’ campaign victorious as Sudan court scraps teen’s death term

A Sudanese court commuted the death sentence of a teenager for killing her husband who she said had raped her, instead imposing a five-year jail term.
Updated 27 June 2018
0

‘Justice for Noura’ campaign victorious as Sudan court scraps teen’s death term

  • Sudanese court commutes the death sentence of a teenager for killing her husband who she said had raped her, instead imposing a five-year jail term
  • Hussein, now aged 19, has been held in a women's prison since May 2017

DUBAI/KHARTOUM: A Sudanese teenager convicted of stabbing her husband to death after he raped her, has had her death sentenced reversed, her lawyer said.

A lower court had sentenced Noura Hussein to death in May, 2018, after she was convicted of stabbing her husband in April 2017.

The court had previously heard she had been forced to marry the man by her father when she was 16.

Her husband then raped her while his relatives pinned her down.

After the attack she stabbed him to death and she was arrested soon after and subsequently sentenced to death on her conviction in May, 2017.

But 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 on May 25, 2018.

And on June 26 the Sudanese court lifted the death sentence after her conviction of premeditated murder was cancelled.

Hussein was instead convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to five years and time already served.

“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).

“We are very pleased that Noura has won the court appeal against her death sentence, and we celebrate it as a positive step for both her, and women and girls generally in Sudan,” women’s rights NGO EqualityNow’s human rights lawyer Judy Gitau told Arab News.

“However, sentencing her to five years in prison and a fine for defending herself against her rapist is still not acceptable and we are looking at next steps to support her,” she added.

Hussein, now 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.

“The progress in #justicefornoura case is rooted in the Noura's hope, the dedication of her team and the solidarity of millions of activists around the world,” Gitau said.

“This is a tremendous decision. It marks a departure from the days when everyone would watch quietly as women and girls are brutalized and criminalized for speaking up about their rights. It says to the women and girls of Sudan- you are not alone,” she added.

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 International said in May.

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

“On  May 2, 2017, the three men held Noura Hussein down while Abdulrahman raped her,” the rights group said in a statement.

“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 International said.

At her trial in July 2017, the court found her guilty of "intentional murder" after applying an “outdated law that does not recognize marital rape,” the statement added.

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

(With AFP)


Mexico demands apology for colonial ‘abuses,’ Spain hits back

Handout photo released by the Mexican presidency showing Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador answering questions during a press conference at the Palacio Nacional, in Mexico City on March 25, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 27 min 57 sec ago
0

Mexico demands apology for colonial ‘abuses,’ Spain hits back

  • “The government of Spain deeply regrets that the letter the Mexican president sent to his majesty the king, whose contents we firmly reject, has been made public,” it said in a statement

MEXICO CITY: The 500-year-old wounds of the Spanish conquest were ripped open afresh on Monday when Mexico’s president urged Spain and the Vatican to apologize for their “abuses” — a request Madrid said it “firmly rejects.”
President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, an anti-establishment leftist, reopened the debate over Spain’s centuries of dominance in the New World with a video posted to social media, urging Spanish King Felipe VI and Pope Francis to apologize for the conquest and the rights violations committed in its aftermath.
“I have sent a letter to the king of Spain and another to the pope calling for a full account of the abuses and urging them to apologize to the indigenous peoples (of Mexico) for the violations of what we now call their human rights,” Lopez Obrador, 65, said in the video, filmed at the ruins of the indigenous city of Comalcalco.
“There were massacres and oppression. The so-called conquest was waged with the sword and the cross. They built their churches on top of the (indigenous) temples,” he said.
“The time has come to reconcile. But let us ask forgiveness first.”
Spain’s reaction was swift and unequivocal.
“The government of Spain deeply regrets that the letter the Mexican president sent to his majesty the king, whose contents we firmly reject, has been made public,” it said in a statement.
“The arrival, 500 years ago, of Spaniards to present Mexican territory cannot be judged in the light of contemporary considerations,” it said.
“Our two brother nations have always known how to read our shared past without anger and with a constructive perspective, as free peoples with a shared history and extraordinary influence.”

Lopez Obrador took office in December after a landslide election win that represented a firm break with Mexico’s traditional political parties.
A folksy populist, he pulls no punches in going after traditional elites — but had so far cultivated cordial relations with Spain, including during a visit to Mexico City by Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez earlier this year.
Lopez Obrador made the remarks during a visit to his native Tabasco state, in southern Mexico.
He was later due to visit the nearby city of Centla. On March 14, 1519, the site was the scene of one of the first battles between Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes and the indigenous peoples of the land now known as Mexico.
With the help of horses, swords, guns and smallpox — all unknown in the New World at the time — Cortes led an army of less than 1,000 men to defeat the Aztec empire, the start of 300 years of Spanish rule over Mexico.