In 2018 you supported a campaign that helped Noura Hussein, a young Sudanese woman escape a death sentence. Noura was forcibly married off against her will at 17. The man she was married to, raped her with the aid of three male relatives. When he attempted to rape her again, Noura defended herself and the man died in the ensuing struggle. She was sentenced to death in a Sudanese court. Following international attention and direct legal support from Equality Now and our partners in Sudan, her death sentence was quashed and commuted to five years in prison.
Our goal was to ensure that Noura would be free and safe.
Noura was supported throughout her sentence. She was able to continue studying whilst in prison with support from a tutor, which allowed her to complete her secondary school education. Our partners provided continuous counseling to help her through that horrid time. Food and supplies were also regularly delivered for her and fellow inmates and support was given to her family.
Equality Now continued to press the judiciary for her early release and linked her to a generous well-wisher who paid “diya” (financial compensation) to the family of the deceased man that the Court had ordered was to be paid if she was to be released even after serving her sentence. Indeed this payment was her passage to freedom.
We can now share the good news that Noura was released in 2021. We were advised by Noura’s family and local partners not to make news of her release or location immediately public as there was a big risk of a reprisal attack by her deceased husband’s family. In planning for her release we had discussed options for Noura to continue studying at the Open University of Sudan where she had an offer. She is now living in Khartoum and married.
Thank you for the role you played in supporting Noura. She has endured so much and we applaud her fortitude and courage.