EU calls on Sudanese government to revoke apostasy verdict



The EU and religious leaders have called on the Sudanese government to revoke the apostasy verdict passed by a Sudanese court on Mrs Meriam Ibrahim.

José Barroso, President, European Commission; Herman van-Rompuy, President of the European Council; the President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, and religious leaders made the call on Wednesday in Khartoum during their high-level meeting.

They expressed their deepest dismay and concern with the fate of Mrs Ibrahim who has been sentenced to a hundred lashes and death by hanging on charges of apostasy and adultery.

They underlined Sudan’s international obligation to protect the freedom of religion and belief, and unanimously called the Sudanese authorities and appeal courts to revoke the verdict and release Meriam with the utmost urgency.

They said Sudan had ratified the relevant UN and AU conventions and thereby had an international obligation to defend and promote freedom of religion or belief.

They urged the government in line with universal human rights to repeal any legal provisions that penalize or discriminate against individuals for their religious beliefs, especially the cases of apostasy, heterodoxy, or conversion that are punishable by death.

In late 2013 Meriam, daughter of an Ethiopian Christian mother and Sudanese Muslim father was accused of adultery by her paternal family.

The apostasy accusation was added in December 2013.

Since the father left the family when Meriam was six years old, she was raised as a Christian, and she married a Sudanese-American.

The verdict at the court of first instance was delivered on 12 May, giving Meriam three days to renounce Christianity.

On 15 May, the verdict was reconfirmed as Meriam chose not to renounce her faith.

On 27 May 2014, she gave birth to a baby girl at the prison clinic, where she was imprisoned along with her 20-month-old son.

And on 5 May, her file was transferred to the Court of Appeal.


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