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.

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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 ??
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