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Sudan to Release Woman Sentenced to Death Over Christian Faith

  • VOA News

FILE - Meriam Ibrahim, sitting next to Martin, her 20-month-old son, holds the newborn daughter she gave birth to in jail in May at a prison in Khartoum, Sudan.
A Sudanese woman on death row for refusing to renounce her Chrisitan faith had her sentence canceled and was ordered released by a Khartoum court on Monday, the country's official news agency, SUNA, reported.

SUNA said the Court of Cassation canceled the death sentence against 27-year-old Meriam Ibrahim after defense lawyers presented their case.

One of Ibrahim's lawyer, Mohaned Mostafa, said she has already been released and sent "to an unknown house to stay at for her protection and security."

"Her family had been threatened before and we are worried that someone might try to harm her," Mostafa told Reuters.

The case of Ibrahim sparked an outcry from Western governments and rights groups after a judge sentenced her to death on May 15.

Family background

Ibrahim was born to a Christian mother and a Muslim father. She was brought up as a Christian after the father left the family.

Under Sudanese law, children of Muslim fathers are considered Muslim.

Ibrahim married a Christian man, Daniel Wani, from southern Sudan in a church ceremony in 2011. As in many Muslim nations, Muslim women in Sudan are prohibited from marrying non-Muslims, though Muslim men can marry outside their faith.

Twelve days after receiving the death sentence, Ibrahim gave birth to a daughter at the women's prison in Khartoum's twin city of Omdurman. She also has a 20-month-old son. Both were incarcerated with her in a prison.

In addition to the death sentence, Ibrahim was also sentenced to 100 lashes for what it deemed her adultery for marrying a Christian.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters, AFP and AP.