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Death Sentence Finally Overturned After Months of Social Media Movement #justicefornoura

The death sentence for Noura Hussein has been overturned but there is still a lot of reform needed for justice to be served.

After the global social media campaign #justicefornoura, the appeals court in Sudan has overturned the death sentence for Sudanese Teenager Noura Hussein.

In May 2018, an Islamic court gave Hussein the death sentence after she was convicted for the murder of her husband Abdulrahman Mohamed Hammad who had raped her with the help of three other men. Hussein was forced to marry Hammad, who was 16 years older than her, when she was 16. On Tuesday, Hussein's legal team told CNN that her sentence had been reduced to 5 years jail term and a payment of 337, 000 Sudanese pounds ($8,400) of "blood money". The legal team said that they will also fight to appeal this jail sentence and the payment.

Hussein's case triggered the social media hashtag #justicefornoura that led to a movement demanding justice for Sudanese women. In a piece about the power of social media in the face of slow legal reform, Samira Sawlani wrote in OkayAfrica, "This in turn has opened up discussion among the Sudanese community on social media regarding an array of issues including child marriage, consent, religion and violence against women, particularly as there are those who have used the various platforms to question Noura's actions, deny the existence of marital rape and argue that it was her duty to sleep with her husband."

Hussein's case has brought attention to the legal and social reformation needed in issues of child marriage, forced marriage, and marital rape. In 2017, UNICEF reported that one third of Sudanese girls are married before they are 18.

Seif Magango, Amnesty International's Deputy Regional Director for East Africa, also called for legal reform and said that the five years' imprisonment for Hussein was a "disproportionate punishment" for acting in "self defense".

Magango responded, "While the quashing of this death sentence is hugely welcome news, it must now lead to a legal review to ensure that Noura Hussein is the last person to go through this ordeal."

The death sentence has been overturned, but the fight for justice is far from over.

News Brief
Photo: Getty

Here's What You Need To Know About The Political Unrest In Sudan

Thousands have been protesting the Sudanese government over the weekend, supporting the military's plans for a coup.

Sudan's transitional government is in turmoil as thousands of citizens conducted a sit-in protest against them, over the weekend. A group of Sudanese citizens have called on the military to disestablish the nation's current government, as the country struggles with the greatest crisis they've seen since the end of former dictator Omar al-Bashir's controversial ruling, two years ago. The weekend's pro-military protests come as anti-military protestors took to the streets earlier this month to fight for civilian-ruled laws.

Military-aligned demonstrators assembled outside of the famously off-limits entrance of the Presidential Palace located in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum on Monday. Gatherers set up tents, blocking off access to two main intersections, cutting off access to the capital for those inside. Police attempted to wave off crowds with teargas, with Khartoum state officials saying they had, "repelled an attempted assault on the seat of government," in a statement issued Monday.

The assembly was called for by a coalition of rebel groups and political parties that support Sudan's military, accusing the civilian political parties of mismanagement and monopolizing power under their ruling. Demonstrations began on Saturday, but Sunday's gathering saw a lower attendance. According to Reuters, by Monday afternoon, thousands, between 2,000 - 3,000, had returned to voice their concerns. 52-year-old tribal elder Tahar Fadl al-Mawla spoke at the helm of the sit-in outside of the Presidential palace saying, "The civilian government has failed. We want a government of soldiers to protect the transition." Alongside a 65-year-old Ahman Jumaa who claimed to have traveled more than 900 kilometers (570 miles) from Southern region Nyala to show his support.

Protesters are demanding the appointment of a new cabinet that is "more representative of the people who participated in the December 2019 revolution that eventually led to the ousting of former president Omar al-Bashir", Al Jazeera reported from Sudan. Protesters headed towards the Presidential Palace, where an emergency cabinet meeting was being held when they were met by police forces.

Pro-civilian political parties have plans for their own demonstration on Thursday, the anniversary of the 1964 revolution that overthrew Sudan's first military regime under Ibrahim Abboud and brought in a period of democracy that the country still struggles to uphold.

Sudanese Twitter users shared their thoughts online, with many drawing similarities between the current unrest and other political crises the nation has faced.

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