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EU Parliament calls on Sudan to overturn Noura Hussein’s death sentence

MagkaSama Team - June 8, 2018
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Many of you have signed the petition and have been active supporting the young Sudanese. You can read our news on this page if you want to learn more about what is happening to Noura.

The petition is getting more and more signatures everyday (more than 1 300 000!), and we tweeted about it yesterday:

As the case of Noura Hussein is now making (some) headlines and the petition has gone viral (read our news about this case), last week, on May 31, the EU Commissioner Christos Stylianides gave a speech at the European Parliament urgency debate on the situation of the young Sudanese sentenced to death by hanging.

Here’s an excerpt, you can read the full speech on this Facebook page.

The case of Noura Hussein, who has been sentenced to death at the tender age of 19, after being forced into marriage at the age of 16 and raped, brings to the forefront many of the country’s complex and interrelated human rights problems ranging from sexual violence, child and forced marriage to the continuing use of capital punishment. Consequently, Noura’s story has not only caused public outcry internationally but more importantly also within Sudan.

The criminal justice systems ought to prevent and protect women and girls from all forms of violence. This is sadly not the case in Sudan. Rape, including by habitual or cohabiting partners, should never be tolerated under any circumstances. Moreover, Sudan’s Personal Status Law allowing for child marriage without the consent of the intending spouses needs urgent revision.

A few days prior to this speech, a number of members of the European Parliament have tabled a joint motion for a resolution on Sudan regarding the case of Noura Hussein:

The European Parliament, having regard to the urgent letter of appeal regarding the case of Noura Hussein Hammad sent on 17 May 2018 by the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC) to the Republic of the Sudan


whereas the case of Noura Hussein Hammad has drawn international attention to women’s rights and put the issues of forced marriage and marital rape in Sudan, where the legal age for marriage is only 10, under the spotlight; whereas marital rape was only recognised by Sudanese law in 2015; whereas, however, the judicial authorities refuse to recognise it as a crime;


Reminds the Sudanese authorities of their obligation to guarantee fundamental rights, including the right to a fair trial; insists that all necessary measures must be taken to ensure that Noura Hussein Hammad’s trial genuinely meets the highest standards of fairness and due process;


Urges the Sudanese authorities to ensure the full protection of Noura Hussein Hammad’s physical and psychological integrity during her detention, as well of that of her lawyers and family;

Julie Ward, on behalf of the S&D Group addressed this message:

Mr President, Noura Hussein Hammad was sentenced to death by the Sudanese authorities because she killed her rapist husband. She isn’t the first woman to find herself in this situation, and I fear she won’t be the last. The fact that Noura was forced to use deadly violence to defend herself demonstrates the appalling state of affairs regarding women’s rights around the world.

Forced marriage and conjugal rape are two ways in which patriarchy operates and gives power to men over women’s bodies and consciences. Noura was married at the age of 16 against her will and subjected to sexual violence and humiliation. She deserves to have access to a fair and transparent trial that gives her the opportunity to defend herself. As part of the European Union struggle for gender equality, I urge the High Representative to use all the means at her disposal to prevent the Sudanese authorities from executing Noura, who was a victim of sexual violence. She is our sister in the global struggle to end gender-based violence.

This is an important move made by the European Union, and strong statements made by EU Commissioner Christos Stylianides and other members of the European Parliament. Even if Europe’s migration partnership with Sudan can be highly criticized, this is another voice supporting Noura Hussein calling on the Khartoum regime to commute her death sentence.

Latest news from Noura came from Amnesty International yesterday:

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