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Sudanese Woman Sentenced to Death for Apostasy Gives Birth

  • VOA News

A view of St. Matthew's Catholic Cathedral near the Sudanese capital Khartoum, where a Christian woman has been sentenced to death for apostasy.

A view of St. Matthew's Catholic Cathedral near the Sudanese capital Khartoum, where a Christian woman has been sentenced to death for apostasy.

A Sudanese Christian woman who was sentenced to hang for refusing to renounce her faith has given birth in a prison hospital, her lawyers said Tuesday.

Meriam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag, 27, gave birth to the baby girl on Tuesday in her cell in the capital, Khartoum, lawyers said. She also has a 20-month-old son.

Ibrahim was convicted of apostasy by a Sudanese judge earlier this month, and ordered to renounce her Christian faith. The court imposed the death sentence after she refused to do so.

Ibrahim’s mother was Christian and her father Muslim. She was raised as a Christian, but under Sudanese law, children of Muslim fathers are considered Muslim.

The judge also sentenced Ibrahim to 100 lashes on charges of adultery.

Ibrahim is married to a Christian man, but Sudanese law does not permit marriages between Muslims and non-Muslims. Such unions are considered adultery in the east African nation, which is overwhelmingly Muslim.

Ibrahim’s death sentence has drawn international outcry. The British-based rights group Amnesty International called the court's ruling "abhorrent" and a flagrant breach of international human rights law.

The U.S. State Department has said the ruling is deeply disturbing and urged the Sudanese government to respect the right to freedom of religion.

Ibrahim's older child has been with her in a prison cell since she was first charged in February, Britain’s Telegraph newspaper reported.

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