Noura Hussein, a 19-year-old Sudanese woman, was sentenced to death by a court for stabbing to death a man she was forced to marry after he raped her.
The death penalty for Hussein was confirmed by a judge on Thursday after her husband’s family rejected financial compensation and insisted on retribution.
“The husband’s family received the verdict with claps of joy and cheering,” said Amal Habani, a Sudanese journalist and women’s rights activist who attended the hearing in Omdurman, Sudan’s second-largest city.
“But for Hussein’s supporters at the courtroom, the news was very distressing,” Habani told Al Jazeera.
Hussein’s legal team has 15 days to appeal the death sentence.
According to another human rights activist who also attended the hearing, large crowds of supporters for Hussein gathered outside the court to protest the verdict, but police violently dispersed them.
“People protested carrying signs and posters to show their disapproval of the verdict,” said Rasha Abualayla. “But the police snatched the posters out of their hands and even started beating some of them.”
Rights activists have campaigned on behalf of Hussein on social media and a #JusticeForNoura hashtag has trended on Twitter.
At 16, Hussein was forced by her parents to marry her cousin, according to activists.
According to members of the #JusticeForNoura campaign, Hussein was forced to sign the marriage contract in 2014. She then fled to a relative’s house in eastern Sudan before the wedding ceremony was completed.
Her father allegedly tricked her into returning to her husband. After six days of Hussein refusing his advances, he raped her with the help of family members who held her down, supporters say.