News / Africa

Sudanese Woman Gets Death Sentence for Converting to Christianity

FILE - Christian worshipers pray during Christmas mass at a Church in Khartoum, Sudan, Dec. 25, 2013.
FILE - Christian worshipers pray during Christmas mass at a Church in Khartoum, Sudan, Dec. 25, 2013.
VOA News
A court in Sudan has sentenced a pregnant woman to death for refusing to renounce her Christian faith.

Mariam Yahya Ibrahim, 27, who is already the mother to a 20-month-old son, was convicted of apostasy on Sunday and given four days to abandon her faith.

Judge Abbas al-Khalifa handed down the death sentence Thursday in Khartoum after Ibrahim told the court "I am a Christian."  

Ibrahim, who was born to a Christian mother and a Muslim father, was raised Christian after the father left the family.  However, under Sudanese law, children of Muslim fathers are considered Muslim.

Condemnation

Amnesty International quickly condemned the court's ruling, calling it "abhorrent" and a flagrant breach of international human rights law.  The rights group called for Ibrahim's immediate and unconditional release.

The judge Thursday also sentenced Ibrahim to 100 lashes on charges of adultery.  Under Sudanese law, marriage between Muslims and non-Muslims is not permitted, and any such union is considered adultery.

Earlier this week, the U.S., British, Canadian and Dutch embassies expressed "deep concern" about the case, and called on Sudan's government to respect the right to religious freedom.

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

You May Like

Beloved Lion Killing Sparks Virtual, Real Life Outrage

Twitter, as usual, was epicenter for anger directed at Palmer, with some questioning his manhood, calling for him to be released into the wild More

Video Booming London Property Market a Haven for Dirty Money

Billions of dollars from proceeds of crime, especially from Russia, being laundered through London property market, according to anti-corruption activists More

Video Scouts' Decision on Gays Meets Acceptance in Founder's Hometown

One former Scout leader thinks organization will move past political, social debate, get back to its primary focus of turning boys into good citizens More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
    Next 
by: Anonymous
May 25, 2014 1:01 PM
US Citizens, please sign this petition.

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/demand-release-pregnant-mother-mariam-ibrahim-and-her-20-month-old-son-martin-united-states-citizen/xpQlzgMy

WE PETITION THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION TO:
demand the release of pregnant mother Mariam Ibrahim, and her 20 month old son, Martin, a United States citizen in Sudan
Meriam Ibrahim, a pregnant mother, and her 20 month old son, Martin, are currently in prison in Sudan. Meriam was condemned to death for the crime of apostasy for not renouncing her Orthodox Christian faith, will receive 150 lashes immediately after giving birth because she is a Christian, for marrying a Muslim man, which is considered adultery in Sudan. After her child is weaned, she will be hanged and beaten with whips until she dies. She endures beatings in prison even though she's 9 months pregnant. Dr. Daniel Wani, is an American citizen and Martin is his son, as is the child Meriam is carrying. He's tried to get a US visa for Miriam, but by the time the paperwork is evaluated, she will already be dead. Action needs to be taken immediately to save the life of Miriam, and her family.

by: Zack from: Canada
May 19, 2014 5:24 AM
Please read, sign, and share this petition ASAP.

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/Field_Marshal_Omar_Hassan_Ahmad_AlBashir_President_of_Sudan_Stop_the_execution_of_Mariam_Yahya_Ibrahim_who_is_eight_mont/

by: Don Inodessa
May 16, 2014 5:57 AM
Sharia law...coming to a city near you!

by: citizen of the world from: earth
May 16, 2014 3:04 AM
Dear The so called powerful government.. She seems innocent. She should be saved. She seems helpless...

by: Jonathan Benda from: Liberia
May 15, 2014 4:39 PM
where is human right, the right to protect religious believe. She is above 18 for heaven sake let her have freedom, let the UN COUNCIL help, she need help..help..help..help

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
May 15, 2014 2:18 PM
This is state terrorism. The world over people see reason to abandon a religion that does not satisfy their yearning for the truth and they are barred from changing at the cost of their lives. From Saudi Arabia to Iran, from Pakistan to Indonesia, from Libya to Algeria, just anywhere the religion poses a stranglehold on population, the story is the same.

Crime against humanity is committed in these atrocious states on daily basis and what we hear from the UN, USA, EU, NATO, Human Rights of all leanings or any other supposedly human society is same old refrain: "deeply concerned". If the death of a woman could cause the second world war, then this sentence is worse than what led to the last world war.

Condemning it is not enough, but preventing the mad regime in Khartoum from carrying it out and at the same time stationing a UN army to ensure that the abhorrent leadership is changed will be a good starting point to show those still living in the Stone Age the dawn of the 21st century.

by: Odinakachi Otuokere from: Nigeria
May 15, 2014 1:47 PM
Where is the peace the muslims claim they preach? Can any of them give life? I call on the international bodies rise, condem and stop this barberic act in Sudan.

by: Jacob from: India
May 15, 2014 1:04 PM
The sad fact is that laws like this go back to the infancy of Islam and were crucial to its success in conquering and subduing much of the world. It would be very hard for them to renounce what has been so successful. I overheard a fellow who once said that 70% of the Muslims in Lebanon would convert to Christianity if it were not for laws like these.

by: Anonymous
May 15, 2014 11:28 AM
Its the Sudanese law and an Islamic law for God sake. Islam is never for freedom, Peace or growth of society. I will say Islam is on a steady decline. This is a Century of reason. African who embrace Islam will live to suffer. I the best way maybe for more women to convert to Christianity and some to reconvert to their africanness

by: roberto carlos campos from: formosa argentina
May 15, 2014 10:15 AM
I beg all the civilized countries in the world to do their best and to exert their utmost pressure on the government of Sudan to stop this barbarian execution that has no legal base at all, she is not a criminal, a serial killer a rapist and didn't kill a president. Please USA, the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany and all the other civilized countries in the world please stop it !!! god bless you all. Robt
Comments page of 2
    Next 

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’i
X
July 29, 2015 9:34 PM
Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Scouts' Decision on Gays Meets Acceptance in Founder's Hometown

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.

VOA Blogs