News / Africa

Sudan: Woman on Death Row to be Freed

Sudan - South Sudan map
Sudan - South Sudan map
Fern Robinson
Sudan's foreign ministry says a Sudanese woman sentenced to hang for identifying herself as a Christian will be freed "within days," following an international uproar over her conviction for apostasy.

Ministry spokesman Abdullah al-Azraq announced the development late Saturday in Khartoum, just days after the woman — 27-year-old Mariam Yahya Ibrahim — gave birth in prison while awaiting her execution.

Ibrahim is also the mother of a 20-month-old son. Both children are incarcerated with their mother.

Born to a Christian mother and a Muslim father and raised Christian after the father left the family, Ibrahim said she had never herself been a Muslim, despite Sudanese law defining children of Muslim fathers as Muslims by definition.

A court in early May gave her four days to recant her Christian faith, and imposed the death penalty when she refused to do so.

Christian-Muslim unions such as Ibrahim's marriage to U.S. citizen Daniel Wani are defined under Sudanese law as adultery, prompting the judge to impose an additional sentence of 100 lashes on the young mother.

Ibrahim's husband, Daniel Wani, is a Christian. He was not allowed to visit his wife and children on the day of the daughter's birth, but did see his family a few days afterwards. He says they are all doing well.

The death sentence sparked widespread criticism from Western governments and human rights organizations. The U.S. State Department protested the ruling and called on the Khartoum government to respect the right to freedom of religion. British Prime Minister David Cameron said the ruling has "no place in today's world."

Amnesty International also condemned the death sentence, calling it "abhorrent" and a flagrant breach of international human rights law.

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

You May Like

Video Westgate Mall Attack Survivors Confront Painful Memories

On anniversary of terror attack, survivors discuss how they have coped with trauma they experienced that day More

Iraqi Kurdish Leader: Protect Syrian City

Islamic State fighters are besieging Kobani, also known as Ayn al-Arab, after seizing at least 21 surrounding villages in a major assault against city on Syria's northern border with Turkey More

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

Conservationists hail ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015 More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
    Next 
by: Kathy Hayes from: Columbia NC
June 02, 2014 8:34 PM
Praise The Lord! He can work miracles & answers prayers! It is about time the
governments of the. Western world took a stand and made the Islamic world see this brutal way of dealing with women is not going to be tolerated ,


by: Rev.Tony F Medina from: United States
June 02, 2014 3:50 PM
This is all good news But now what about another Christian who is being held in Iran , Pastor Speed ; ? Is he any less important than this woman ? Come now Let's do equally for all. And not be selective about who is who.


by: Forster from: USA
June 02, 2014 1:43 PM
Is Islamic law more important than HUMAN RIGHT? But I am glad to hear that she will be given her freedom. What about others who might like to exercise their human rights by leaving Islamic religion to any other religion of their choice ? However, let us not forget that human rights, peace ,freedom and justice do not oppose any religious principles and practices. Thank you.


by: Stuart & Tina Charrington from: Little Aston. Uk
June 01, 2014 3:16 PM
We are so pleased to hear that Miriam is apparantly going to be freed. We hope that the charges against her will also be revoked. May God bless this young mother and doctor and encourage her for her faith and bravery. Our constant thoughts and prayers remain with her and her family.


by: Rick from: uk
June 01, 2014 5:27 AM
It is great news that this brave lady is to be released and the death sentence is officially lifted but I fear for the families safety when she is released because if she were to be attacked in the streets by some " unknown " nutter then it would not be the fault of the government would it, they will be safe in that country again


by: Denis mkani from: Mwanza Tanzania
June 01, 2014 12:54 AM
This is gift to all women in sudan bt now they have to fight for their right apart from waiting for gifts because gifts dont come often.


by: Gwen Hartnell from: UK
May 31, 2014 7:08 PM
I have just read that this lady is to be released within days, I wonder if I would be so brave in that situation, may she know her faithfulness is a wonderful witness


by: Tatyana from: Miami
May 31, 2014 7:04 PM
That's a great ending to this story, but what do we do to make sure other, unheard stories get proper attention?


by: HelpDesk180 from: Upstate NY
May 31, 2014 6:59 PM
Legislating that any child fathered by a Muslin is by definition also a Muslim is an interesting way of expanding the faith. Thus, any child of rape that has never in their life heard the word Muslim must profess to be a member or die is about as perverted a law as could be dreamed up. Politics and Religion - the most deadly combination


by: colin hopkins from: scotland
May 31, 2014 6:45 PM
Muslim law. Lash a woman 100 time's hang her. Is this what god would do or satan. Muslim's ??

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.
Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calaisi
X
Lisa Bryant
September 19, 2014 5:04 PM
The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video CERN Accelerator Back in Business

The long upgrade of the Large Hadron Collider is over. The scientific instrument responsible for the discovery of the Higgs boson -- the so-called "God particle" -- is being brought up to speed in time for this month's 60th anniversary of the European Organization for Nuclear Research, known by its French acronym CERN. Physicists hope the accelerator will help them uncover more secrets about the origins of the universe. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid