A woman facing a death sentence in Sudan for apostasy, after she converted from Islam to Christianity when marrying her American boyfriend, gave birth to a baby while still in jail, reports ABC News. The 27-year-old woman, identified as Mariam Yahya Ibrahim, was recently sentenced to death by hanging after she refused to obey a Sudanese court order that asked her to abandon Christianity and return to Islam. She has also been charged with adultery because she married a Christian man.
At the time of the judgment, the Judge Abbas al Khalifa asked Mariam if she would return to Islam. She refused, and said “I am a Christian,” after which the death sentence was confirmed.
The ruling can be appealed in a higher court.
Meanwhile, Mariam, who was pregnant with her husband’s child at the time of her sentencing, gave birth while still in jail. Sudanese authorities have decided to let her live for two more years so that she can nurse the baby. Meanwhile, Mariam’s husband, Daniel Wani, who was working in New Hampshire in the United States, has rushed back to Sudan in an attempt to save his wife’s life.
With the news of a woman being sentenced to death for merely changing her faith making international headlines, the Sudanese government has been under pressure from various organizations and embassies within the country to set its human rights records right.
“Sudan is committed to all human rights and freedom of faith granted in Sudan by the constitution and law,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Abu-Bakr Al-Siddiq said while also adding that his ministry trusted the integrity and independence of the judiciary.
Sudan also witnessed internal protests, as 50 people were seen outside the court holding signs that read “Freedom of Religion.” Some Islamists in the predominantly Muslim country, however, welcomed the ruling by chanting “God is Greatest”. University students have also started protests near the capital city of Khartoum, demanding the government offer more freedom and better economic conditions in the country, which is recovering from a civil war. The recent civil war in Sudan had ended up dividing the country in to two independent states, Sudan and South Sudan.
Meanwhile, Mariam’s lawyers have said that they would be appealing against the death sentence in a higher court of law. The news of this Sudanese woman being tried under arachic laws comes just hours after The Inquisitr had reported about another gruesome incident where a pregnant Pakistani woman was stoned to death by her own family members.
[Image via ABC News]