Khartoum — The European Union Heads of Mission and the Norwegian and Swiss ambassadors to Sudan have expressed their concern about Noura Hussein, who has recently been sentenced to death for killing her husband after being forced into marriage, and allegedly being raped.
In a press statement released today, the EU heads of missions recall their "firm opposition" to the death penalty: "whatever the place and circumstances".
The concerns follow the conviction of 19-year-old Noura Hussein in Sudan on Thursday. The Central Omdurman Court in the twin city of Khartoum sentenced her to death by hanging for murdering her husband. Hussein has claimed that she refused to consummate the marriage after which her husband's relatives held her down while he raped her.
In response the EU officials stated that they "remain fully committed to the universal abolition of this cruel and inhumane punishment, which is a serious violation of human rights and human dignity".
The heads of mission also recall the principle of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights stating that "marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses".
The Sudanese No to Suppression of Women Initiative has launched a campaign against the ruling. Internationally, the case of Noura Hussein has raised attention to the issues of forced marriage and marital rape in Sudan. The legal age of marriage is 10 and marital rape goes unpunished.
With the hashtag #JusticeForNoura and #SaveNoura many rights activists have expressed their comdenmnation of the unjust punishment. Amnesty International's Seif Magango told CNN that "The death penalty is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment and to apply it to a rape victim only highlights the failure of the Sudanese authorities to acknowledge the violence she endured".