Sudan death row 'apostate' mother unchained

2014-06-18 05:30

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

  • Reef Fishes and Corals
    This colourful guide contains concise information on 234 reef fish and 36 coral species found along... Now R175.00
    buy now

Khartoum - Sudanese jailers removed the chains from a Christian woman, sentenced to death for apostasy, after she gave birth in prison last month, one of her lawyers said on Tuesday.

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

Born to a Muslim father, she was convicted under Islamic shari'ah law that has been in force in Sudan since 1983 and outlaws conversions on pain of death.

Twelve days after the verdict, Ishag gave birth to a daughter at the women's prison in Khartoum's twin city of Omdurman.

"They removed the chains" after she delivered, one of her lawyers, Mohanad Mustafa, told AFP.

"This is on order by the doctor."

Sudanese law requires anyone sentenced to death to be shackled but Mustafa said he did not think they would be put back on again.

After the delivery, Ishag was moved to the prison clinic from a cell she shared with other women.

"After she gave birth the conditions got better," Mustafa said.

"She has air conditioning. She has a good bed," he said after he and Ishag's Catholic husband, Daniel Wani, visited her.

"She's fine. Usually her husband brings the food, and he gives her money" to buy any other items she needs.

Inhumane verdict

The couple's 20-month-old son is also incarcerated with Ishag and their daughter.

Mustafa said that despite the relative improvement in Ishag's conditions, "a prison is a prison".

Last week, European Union leaders called for revocation of the "inhumane verdict," while US Secretary of State John Kerry urged Khartoum to repeal its laws banning Muslims from converting.

British Prime Minister David Cameron said the way she has been treated "is barbaric and has no place in today's world."

Mustafa and four other human rights lawyers handling her case for free have appealed the verdict.

"We're still waiting," and there is no word on when the higher court's decision may come, Mustafa said.

A church source was optimistic Ishag would be freed because of international pressure on Sudan.

"I am hopeful that she will be released," said the source, asking for anonymity.

But Muslim extremist groups have been lobbying the Islamist government over Ishag's case, prominent newspaper editor Khalid Tigani has said.

Never a Muslim

Ishag, born in eastern Sudan's Gedaref state on 3 November 1987, is the daughter of a Sudanese Muslim father and an Ethiopian Orthodox Christian mother, a statement obtained by AFP on Tuesday from the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Khartoum says.

Her father abandoned the family when Ishag was five, and she was raised according to her mother's faith, it says.

"She has never been a Muslim in her life," said the statement signed by Father Mussa Timothy Kacho, episcopal vicar for Khartoum.

Ishag joined the Catholic church shortly before she married the Khartoum-born Wani in December 2011, the vicar said.

Wani is a United States citizen, the US embassy confirmed to AFP on Tuesday.

The case against Ishag dates from 2013 when "a group of men who claim to be Meriam's relatives" filed an initial legal action, the vicar's statement said.

In fact, she had never seen those men before, the statement added, in comments confirmed by the lawyer Mustafa.

Ishag and her husband own a barber shop, a mini-mart and an agricultural project in Gedaref, the vicar said.

Mustafa did not know if there is a link between the businesses and the case against Ishag but he said: "Surely there is something behind this".

The Ishag case is the latest problem facing Sudan, an impoverished nation battling rebellions in its west and south, while more than six million people need humanitarian aid.

Read more on:    meriam yahia ibrahim ishag  |  sudan  |  east africa  |  shariah
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
6 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic & Train Alerts
Traffic
Joostenberg Vlakte 12:34 PM
Road name: N1 Outbound

Earlier ACCIDENT near the Engen One Stop has been CLEARED - DELAYS from Brighton Road

Goodwood 12:14 PM
Road name: N7 Vanguard Drive Southbound

SLOW TRAFFIC towards Voortrekker Road

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to 30% off top fragrances

Get mind blowing savings on selected fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 40% off fashion accessories

Save up to 40% on selected handbags, purses, watches, jewellery and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2000 on top electronics

Get every day mind bowing savings on top electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to 50% on Women’s month treats!

Celebrate the awesome women in your life with awesome treats like beauty products, fashion accessories, bestselling books, electronics and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Today you may want to bond with your children and need to connect to your imaginative and playful side. It may be that you are...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.