This week, a court in Sudan overturned the death sentence of Noura Hussein, a teenager whose tragic case made international headlines earlier this year.

Hussein killed her husband after he raped her. In April 2018, the 19-year-old was charged with premeditated murder in Sudan, and was then sentenced to death by hanging in May. 

However, following a court ruling, Hussein's execution has now been reversed. Instead, the court sentenced her to five years in jail and ordered her family to pay "blood money" to compensate for the rapist's death.

"The appeals court has cancelled her execution and sentenced her to five years in jail," said Al-Fateh Hussein, the teen's lawyer, according to Al Arabiya.

"The jail term is effective from the time she was arrested," he added.

In 2014, when she was just 16-years-old, Sudanese national Noura Hussein's father forced her into marrying her cousin.

After refusing to do so, Hussein fled her home, seeking refuge at her aunt's home on the outskirts of Sudan's capital city Khartoum. 

In 2017, Hussein's father tricked her into coming back and forced her, once again, to be with the man she initially ran away from.

Her husband attempted to engage in sexual intercourse with her but she refused. So, he raped her with the help of a number of men.

"They asked me why I am rejecting intercourse with my husband, then they violently beaten me, then grabbed and held me for him. He violently raped me, while they watched him," Hussein told 7D News.

Following another attempt at marital rape, Hussein stabbed her husband to death. Subsequently, her own father gave her in to the police.

An act of self-defense landed Hussein in jail. She spent over a year in Omdurman's prison, the largest women's correctional facility in Sudan as she awaited her trial.

Earlier this year, a petition was filed in an attempt to reverse the court's punishment, the death penalty

Soon after Hussein's story went viral, a petition was filed in an attempt to reverse the court's decision.

The petition - titled "Don't execute Noura for self-defense against the man who raped her!" - amassed over 1.4 million signatures.

Hussein's lawyer appealed the decision "in an attempt to save her life". 

Months later, after pressure from online activists, rights groups, and international media outlets, the court ruling was reversed. 

"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 for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.

Marital rape is not considered a crime in Sudan

There is no law in Sudan that acknowledges marital rape and the legal age for marriage is 10.

"A married woman must obey her husband. If the husband has paid the dowry and if he provides a suitable home, his wife cannot refuse sexual intercourse," Article 91 of the Sudanese Family Law states, according to Dabanga Sudan.

When a rape crime is reported, it is often seen as "Zina" - the crime of extramarital sex.

In 2015, a new law was introduced in which rape was redefined as "penetrative sexual act involving physical or psychological force."

"In the past the law was confusing and very problematic. In most cases when a woman complained she had been raped she would be tried for adultery," said Hikma Ahmed, a Sudanese lawyer.

"This amendment is very helpful for rape victims or survivors seeking justice, and it is also helpful for us lawyers who are supporting these women in court."