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Save Sudanese female citizen, Noura Hussein Hammad, age 19

Urgent letter sign off

Wednesday 9 May 2018, by siawi3

Source: email, May 9 2018

Letter Sign off- Save Sudanese female citizen, Noura Hussein Hammad

Your Excellency, Dear Mr Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein:

We are addressing this letter to you as a matter of critical urgency in the hope of averting a gross violation of Human Rights, under International Human Rights Law, and a humanitarian tragedy.

It concerns the case of a 19 y.o. Sudanese female citizen, Noura Hussein Hammad - who is a victim of Child Marriage, Forced Marriage, Rape/Marital Rape, Honour Based Violence, Gender Based Violence and Violence against Women & Children and who is facing a death sentence to be issued by the Sudanese authorities on 10 May 2018 (below you can find a detailed description of Noura’s case)

As a group of NGOs, civil society and human rights advocates, we alarmed by the gross violation of human rights about to happen in Sudan. The possible execution of Noura Hussein, undoubtedly, herself a victim of grave abuse and gender based violence, is contrary to the political commitment towards the elimination of human rights abuses in the region established in the African Region, including the very recent dialogue on this subject between the African Union and the OHCHR in April 2018.

It is our strong belief that the elimination of human rights violations needs to be substantiated with concrete actions and, in the context of Sudan, the execution of a young female victim of gender based violence is an unacceptable breach of the commitments you achieved, a regress in the eyes of international law and an irreparable damage for Sudan’s and perhaps more broadly Africa’s international reputation.

As a group of NGOs and individuals concerned with human rights and women’s rights in particular, we appeal to your authority to urgently take necessary actions to protect Noura’s life. We do so with the clear understanding that if the highest authority of Sudan and international humanitarian actors do not immediately and directly intervene in this case,
Noura will be executed, as per Sharia law in Sudan. On the contrary, with the direct support of OHCHR and international stakeholder, not only the life of an innocent person will be saved, but also the reputation of Sudan and the commitment of the African Union to human rights will avoid further scandal in the International community.

Following the expected sentencing of the Sudanese courts on Thursday 10 may 2018, we will be taking this case to the international and European media and authorities, to expose the atrocity committed by the state of Sudan against a powerless individual, first violated as a female child and then executed as an adult female for the very abuse she in fact suffered.

We seek your full and unconditional support to prevent this pending human rights violation and save this young girl’s life.

°°°

Noura Hussein Hammad’s Case:

When Noura was 15 y.o. she was forced to marry a man. First, the written arrangement between the families was done, and, as Noura turned 17 y.o. the formal marriage was set.

From the onset of inter-family arrangements, Noura unequivocally rejected the marriage.

She made it clear to both families, including the proposed groom, that she did NOT wish to marry him and had no plans to marry at all, as her main goal was pursuing her education. As the families persisted, to avoid the forced marriage, Noura fled to another city. However, two years later she was deceived to return by her own father on the promise that the marriage was cancelled.

In May 2017 after Noura was forced to take part in her own wedding ceremony and after she was sent on a “honeymoon” with her "husband”, she refused to have sex with him for 5 days.

On the 6th day the “husband" called his brother & cousins who held Noura’s arms and legs, while he raped her.

On the 7th day, as he tried to rape her again, in defence of her physical self and her dignity, Noura killed him with the knife.

After that she immediately reported herself to her family. Noura’s father brought her to the police and left her there, declaring his daughter as the “shame for the family”. Since then

Noura has been in prison.

On 29 April 2018 Noura was found guilty of pre-meditated murder. Under Islamic law of Sudan, Article 113, a person guilty of murder is either executed (Qasaas) or has to pay a fine (Deeya). Noura’s forced marriage, ‘marital’ rape, or other forms of gender-based violence against her, cannot be used as evidence to alleviate the sentence.

On 10 May 2018 the family of her "husband" will be heard in court. They demand Noura’s immediate death (and made it clear they won’t accept a fine, even though some organisations stepped up to pay).

Following this, the final verdict will be announced and the defence will have 15 days to appeal.

Noura, who is a victim of child marriage, forced marriage, rape/marital rape, honour based violence and violence against women, has no social support because her family abandoned her. She became family’s “shame”. Her legal defense was provided by formal legal aid.

A group of Sudanese and international activists have mobilised to work around the clock to save Noura’s life. They are running a FB Support Page and launched Avaaz Petition . They mediate with lawyers, visit Noura in prison and translate letters of support.

Noura’s case is significant for many reasons: Not only because she is one of the many women in a similar situation - subjected to patriarchal male violence, blamed and abandoned by community, at the mercy of religious laws, without recourse to justice. She is also one the many women who refused to submit to this violence and stood up to defend herself.

Noura’s support team in Sudan: justicefornoura yahoo.com

FB Support Page & Avaaz Petition

Twitter: #JusticeForNoura @kbegghead @sodfadaaji

#JusticeForNoura Sign the letter

Letters will be brought to the attention of Sudanese authorities
Urgently Send Letters of Support to:

Sodfa Daaji
Chairwoman of the Gender Equality Committee
North Africa Coordinator Afrika Youth Movement
<daajisodfa.pr gmail.com>