Meriam Yehya Ibrahim considers herself Christian, but a court says she's Muslim
A Khartoum court convicted her of apostasy, or the renunciation of faith
The court also found her guilty of adultery for being married to a Christian
A Sudanese woman sentenced to die for refusing to renounce her Christianity gave birth to a baby girl in prison Tuesday, her lawyers said.
A Khartoum court last week convicted Meriam Yehya Ibrahim, 27, of apostasy, or the renunciation of faith.
Ibrahim, who is eight months pregnant, is a Christian, her husband said. But the court considers her a Muslim.
“I’m so frustrated. I don’t know what to do,” said her husband, Daniel Wani. “I’m just praying.”
Christian or Muslim?
In addition to the death sentence, the court convicted Ibrahim of adultery and sentenced her to 100 lashes.
Wani is American, Ibrahim’s lawyer Mohamed Jar Elnabi told CNN.
The attorney said he’ll file an appeal within a few days.
The Parliament speaker has said the verdict is not final and will go through all the judicial stages to reach the constitutional court.
The verdict will go through all the judicial stages to reach the constitutional court, the speaker told Um Derman radio station. His comments were cited Friday by the official Sudanese News Agency.
Ibrahim says she was born to a Sudanese Muslim father and an Ethiopian Orthodox mother. Her father left when she was age 6, and she was raised by her mother as a Christian.
However, the lawyer representing Ibrahim’s family said Sunday that the mother is a devout Muslim.
The court had warned Ibrahim to renounce her Christianity by Thursday, but she held firm to her beliefs.
But the parliament speaker said that claims she was raised as non-Muslim are untrue.
She is a Muslim raised in an Islamic environment and her brother, a Muslim, filed the complaint against her, according to Izz Al-Deen.
The complaint alleges she went missing for several years and her family was shocked to find out she married a Christian, according to her lawyer.
However, because her father was Muslim, the courts considered her one too, which would mean her marriage to a non-Muslim man is void.
Attempts to contact Sudan’s justice minister and foreign affairs minister were unsuccessful.
A family divided
The court’s ruling leaves a family divided, with Ibrahim behind bars and her husband struggling to survive, Elnabi said.
He uses a wheelchair and “totally depends on her for all details of his life,” said Jar Elnabi, her lawyer.
The couple’s son is having a difficult time in prison.
Ibrahim is having a difficult pregnancy, the lawyer said. A request to send her to a private hospital was denied “due to security measures.”
There also is the question of the timing of a potential execution.
Rights groups and foreign embassies worldwide condemned the verdict.
“The fact that a woman could be sentenced to death for her religious choice, and to flogging for being married to a man of an allegedly different religion, is abhorrent and should never be even considered,” said Manar Idriss, Amnesty International’s Sudan researcher.
Katherine Perks with the African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies said the verdict goes against Sudan’s “own constitution and commitments made under regional and international law.”
Foreign embassies in Khartoum, including those of the United States, United Kingdom and Canada, urged the government to reverse course.
CNN’s Catherine Shoichet, Christabelle Fombu, Mohammed Tawfeeq and Mohammed Osman contributed to this report.