Lawyers Warn That Promise To Release Sudanese Woman On Death Row For Abandoning Islam May Be Just A Trick
A group of lawyers, representing the Christian woman sentenced to death by hanging for abandoning Islam, do not believe that Sudanese government would promptly free the mother of two, accused the authorities of political play.
* Daniel Wani with wife, Mariam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag
Meriam Ibrahim was heavily pregnant when a Sudanese court sentenced her to death penalty for her refusal to renounce Christianity. Moreover, when it was time for the 27-year-old convict to give birth, she was forced to do it remaining in shackles.
Huge international pressure mounted on Sudan by the Western world made the Sudanese Foreign Ministry announce on May 31 that Meriam would be freed “in a few days’ time”.
However, the lawyer of the convict, Elshareef Ali Mohammed, told in an interview to The Guardian on June 1 that this statement changed nothing. Meriam and her newly-born daughter were still in prison cell.
The lawyer added that the statement was made by the Sudanese authorities, who feared that international financial help for Sudan would be suspended.
Elshareef further disclosed that court officials responded to an appeal against Ibrahim’s convictions with claims that the documents were incomplete. Therefore, quick resolution of the matter is doubtful.
At the same time, human rights activists from Amnesty International have launched a campaign urging Sudan to “release Meriam immediately and unconditionally”. An online petition on Change.org has already gathered thousands of electronic signatures from all over the world.
The convict was raised by her mother in Christian traditions, attended an Orthodox Church in Khartoum together with her. However, the Sudanese law states a child must belong to the faith of the father.
On this grounds, the court annulled Meriam’s three-year-long marriage to a South Sudan-born Christian and a U.S. citizen, Daniel Wani, convicted the woman of apostasy and adultery. Formally, the nursing mother still faces 100 lashes and death penalty by hanging.
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