Sudan woman on death row for apostasy gives birth

2014-05-29 17:05
(Picture: AP)

(Picture: AP)

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

Khartoum - A Sudanese woman sentenced to death earlier this month after refusing to renounce her Christian faith has given birth in prison, local newspapers reported on Thursday.

The independent Al-Sudani and Akhbar Al Youm dailies reported that 27-year-old Meriam Ibrahim gave birth to a girl on Tuesday at the clinic at the Omdurman women's prison near the capital, Khartoum.

Ibrahim, who is married to a Christian man, was sentenced to death by hanging for apostasy. In light of her pregnancy, the judge allowed her two months to deliver her child and two years for breast-feeding before her execution.

Ibrahim's lawyer Al-Shareef Ali al-Shareef Mohammed said her Muslim father left her mother when she was a child, and she was raised by her mother who is an Ethiopian Orthodox Christian.

A Khartoum court also ordered that Ibrahim be given 100 lashes for having what it considers illegal sexual relations with her husband, Daniel Wani, a Christian from southern Sudan who has US citizenship, according to the lawyer and judicial officials who spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.

Mohammed said he intends to appeal her conviction.

Ibrahim and Wani married in a church ceremony in 2011 and have a son, 18-month-old Martin, who is with her in jail. The couple runs several businesses, including a farm, south of Khartoum.

Wani was acquitted of a charge of harbouring an apostate, said another defence lawyer, Eman Abdul-Rahim.

Sentence condemned

Amnesty International immediately condemned the sentence, calling it "abhorrent”. The US state department said it was "deeply disturbed" by the sentence and called on the Sudanese government to respect religious freedoms.

Sudan's penal code criminalises the conversion of Muslims to other religions, a crime punishable by death. Anyone born to a Muslim father is automatically a Muslim.

As in many Muslim nations, Muslim women in Sudan are prohibited from marrying non-Muslims, though Muslim men can marry outside their faith.

By law, children must follow their father's religion.

Sudan introduced Islamic Shariah laws in the early 1980s under the rule of autocrat Jaafar Nimeiri, a move that contributed to the resumption of an insurgency in the mostly animist and Christian south of Sudan.

 An earlier round of civil war lasted 17 years and ended in 1972. The south seceded in 2011 to become the world's newest nation, South Sudan.

Sudanese President Omar Bashir, an Islamist who seized power in a 1989 military coup, says his country will implement Islam more strictly now that the non-Muslim south is gone.

A number of Sudanese have been convicted of apostasy in recent years, but they all escaped execution by recanting their new faith.

Read more on:    sudan  |  religion  |  central africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. 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
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


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 network.


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.