The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on Friday urged the Sudanese authorities to consider the self-defence claim of Noura Hussein, a teenager, who killed her rapist husband.
They are the latest international body to up the pressure on the East African nation since 19-year-old Noura Hussein was sentenced to death by a Sudanese court earlier this month.
British supermodel Naomi Campbell also added her voice to a massive social media campaign on Friday, tweeting a photograph of herself holding a sign with the hashtag #JusticeForNoura.
“I, Naomi Campbell, urge the Sudanese government to pardon rape victim Noura Hussein and show the world that women who are brutally raped are the real victims. #JusticeForNoura,’’ she said in the tweet.
The UN’s OHCHR asked the Sudanese authorities to bear in mind Hussein’s claim that her husband raped her, despite the fact that rape within marriage is not considered a crime in the mainly Muslim country.
Reports indicate that Hussein was forced against her will into the marriage at the age of 16.
“We call on the authorities to fully take into consideration Hussein’s claim of self-defence against the attempt by the man to rape her, after he had reportedly already raped her on a previous occasion with the help of three other people,’’ the OHCHR said.
This week, Sudan’s Information Minister Ahmed Mohammed Osman told dpa that his country’s laws should be respected.
“Sentencing 19 year old Noura Hussein to death was done legally and Sudan laws should be respected,’’ he said, adding however, that she can appeal.