Pregnant woman faces death in Sudan for apostasy
By: Lucy Kinder
Published on The Telegraph – 15th May 2014
A heavily pregnant Christian doctor in Sudan has been sentenced to hang for not being raised as a Muslim.
Meriam Yehya Ibrahim, 27, was convicted on charges of apostasy, or the abandonment of religion, by a court in Khartoum.
Following her conviction on Sunday, she was given three days to recant her faith or face a possible death sentence.
“We gave you three days to recant but you insist on not returning to Islam. I sentence you to be hanged,” Judge Abbas Mohammed Al-Khalifa told the woman, addressing her by her father’s Muslim name, Adraf Al-Hadi Mohammed Abdullah.
Mrs Ibrahim also faces a sentence of flogging for adultery on the grounds that her marriage to a Christian man from South Sudan is considered void under Shari’a law. She will be given 100 lashes.
She was born to a Muslim father but was brought up as an Orthodox Christian by her mother. However because her father was Muslim, she was considered by the court to be the same.
Amnesty International says that Ibrahim is eight months pregnant and currently in detention with her 20-month-old son.The human rights group said: “The fact that a woman could be sentenced to death for her religious choice, and to flogging for being married to a man of an allegedly different religion is abhorrent and should never be even considered. “Adultery and apostasy are acts which should not be considered crimes at all, let alone meet the international standard of most serious crimes in relation to the death penalty. It is flagrant breach of international human rights law.”
In court Mrs Ibrahim told the judge: “I am a Christian and I never committed apostasy.”
The death sentence has been condemned by the international community.
In a joint statement, the embassies of the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands expressed “deep concern” over her case.
“We call upon the government of Sudan to respect the right to freedom of religion, including one’s right to change one’s faith or beliefs.”