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US Deeply Concerned About Sudanese Death Sentence

  • VOA News

The United States says it is deeply concerned about a Sudanese woman who has been sentenced to death for refusing to renounce her Christian faith, and is trying to assist with her case.

State Department spokeswoman, Jen Psaki says U.S. embassy officials met Monday with the American husband of Sudanese national Mariam Yahya Ibrahim. She said U.S. officials have been trying to assist Daniel Wani since June of last year, and have been in regular contact with him during his wife's trial.

"One of our top priorities, as all of you know, is the protection of U.S. citizens overseas. And our continued engagement with him and efforts to assist him as a U.S. citizen are indicative of that commitment," said Psaki.

Wani's wife, Ibrahim, was convicted of apostasy in May for refusing to abandon her faith.

Ibrahim was born to a Christian mother and a Muslim father. She was brought up as Christian after the father left the family. Under Sudanese law, children of Muslim fathers are considered Muslim.

The court also sentenced Ibrahim to 100 lashes on charges of adultery for marrying Wani, who is a Christian. Under Sudanese law, marriage between Muslims and non-Muslims is not permitted, and any such union is considered adultery.

Sudan's 2005 constitution guarantees the right to freedom of worship. But in practice, the government instead enforces a form of Islamic law.