Decision to overturn Noura Hussein's death sentence must lead to reform

The legal age of marriage is ten in Sudan and marital rape isn't considered a crime

The legal age of marriage is ten in Sudan and marital rape isn't considered a crime

On Tuesday, an appeals court overturned the sentence and instead handed Noura a five-year jail term.

Noura Hussein's lawyer Al-Fateh Hussein said a Sudanese court made the decision today, also fining her 375 Sudanese pounds (roughly £15).

Hoping for a miracle to stop her daughter being hanged, Hussein mother, Zainab Ahmed, told the BBC she was happy that her life had been spared.

"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", said Seif Magango, Amnesty International's deputy regional director in a statement.

She had refused to consummate the marriage, and so her husband had raped her while a relative held her down.

A day later her husband tried to rape her again, and she stabbed him to death.

The case has brought global attention to the issue of forced marriage in the Northeast African nation, where girls as young as 10 years old can be legally married and courts do not consider marital rape a crime, according to Human Rights Watch.

"Noura faced a lot of violence from her family to marry a man she rejected from the start".

According to a first-hand account obtained by CNN, Noura says that she resisted her husband's sexual advances for the first week they lived together. It was gathered that her husband had raped her the previous day with the help of his brothers who held her down.

Amal Habani, a Sudanese journalist and women's rights activist, forced and child marriages in Sudan are an ongoing issue women's rights activists have been trying to address.

Her death sentence triggered a campaign calling for the throwing out of Hussein's sentence, while her lawyer filed an appeal against the lower court's ruling.

The teenager's story spotlighted women's rights in Sudan, where the legal age to enter into marriage is 10 and marital rape is not considered a crime in the predominantly Muslim African nation.

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