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Pregnant Sudanese Christian woman sentenced to death

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May 5, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – A Sudanese court has sentenced a heavily pregnant Christian woman to death by hanging and 100 lashes after convicting her on charges of apostasy and adultery.

A Khartoum court handed down the sentence on Thursday morning (local time) after 27-year-old Meriam Yehya Ibrahim refused to recant her faith.

Ibrahim, who is eight months pregnant with her second child, was convicted of adultery and apostasy on 11 May and given three days by the court to renounce her religion.

Amnesty International said Ibrahim was arrested and charged with adultery in August 2013 after a family member reportedly claimed that she was committing adultery because of her marriage to a Christian South Sudanese man.

Under Sudan’s Islamic Shari’a law, a Muslim woman is not permitted to marry a non-Muslim man, thus any such marriage is considered adulterous. The court later added the charge of apostasy when Ibrahim, who was raised an Orthodox Christian, asserted that she was not a Muslim.

Amnesty International has described the sentence as “truly abhorrent”.

It said Ibrahim is a prisoner of conscience, convicted solely because of her religious beliefs and identity and should be released immediately.

“The fact that a woman has been sentenced to death for her religious choice, and to flogging for being married to a man of an allegedly different religion is appalling and abhorrent,” Manar Idriss, Amnesty International’s Sudan researcher, said in a statement following the sentencing.

“Adultery and apostasy are acts which should not be considered crimes at all. It is flagrant breach of international human rights law,” he added.

According to the Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa (SIHA), Ibrahim was born in Gedarif state, and raised solely by her Christian Ethiopian Orthodox mother as her Muslim Sudanese father was entirely absent from her upbringing.

In 2012, she married Dr Daniel Wani, a South Sudanese born US citizen, in Khartoum, with whom she has a 20-month-year-old son.

SIHA said it had been informed by Ibrahim’s legal consul that the US embassy in Khartoum has so far been unable to arrange a DNA test, required to support her husband’s claim for custody of their son, who is currently incarcerated with his mother.

It remains unclear what support options will be available to the US embassy for the family even in the event that a DNA test demonstrates the paternity of the child, as Sudanese authorities are likely to refuse the father’s claim for custody given he is not a Muslim.

EU representatives in Khartoum said they had been following the case closely due to its implications for human rights and religious tolerance in the country.

In a brief statement on Tuesday, European diplomats underlined Sudan’s obligation under international law to defend and promote the freedom of religion.

The US, UK, Canadian and Dutch embassies in Khartoum also issued a joint statement prior to Ibrahim’s sentencing expressing their deep concern over the court’s ruling and calling for compassion.

However, according to SIHA said Sudan’s legal system has a history of singling out women, ethnic minorities and activists with punishments often disproportionate to the alleged crimes committed.

“The fact that Meriam stands to lose her life over specious charges makes this case of utmost urgency and demands a unified advocacy and outreach efforts by human rights defenders across the globe,” it said.

While Amnesty has documented a number of cases in recent years of flogging sentences carried out in Sudan, there have been no known executions for apostasy since the 1991 Sudanese Criminal Code was enacted, although many have had their charges dropped or convictions overturned after recanting their faith.

Sudan’s judicial system came under scrutiny earlier this year after an 18-year-old Ethiopian woman, who was gang raped by seven men in Omdurman when she was three months pregnant, was charged with adultery and prostitution.

(ST)

- Sudanese woman convicted of adultery, apostasy facing death penalty

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  • 15 May 16:50, by Majongdit

    Is this the country that told us through its President that they have been asked by Western countries to unite South and North Sudan?

    repondre message

    • 16 May 05:33, by omoni jr.

      Dinka,
      stop pretending here by insulting islam, the truth is you are worst than those devils in the North Sudan. You are the most dangerous and notorious killers in sudans.Second to Janja-weeds terrorist organization.let the justice deal with Adulterous. How many women you Dinka killed since the beginning of Dinka-Nuer Tom & Jerry game? how many women you raped ? And how many children you Dinka

      repondre message

      • 16 May 05:47, by omoni jr.

        How many children you Dinka and Nuer killed, maimed,tortured,beheaded,and use as tools in your barracks?
        Do not pretend,clean your damn house first before you tell somebody to clean his/her. That will be regarded as stupidity under the Dinka Tribal Extremist Act, [ D.T.E.A]POLICY.

        repondre message

        • 16 May 06:37, by Emporio

          Omoni j
          You sound to me like one of people who been converted to islam during the struggle when dinka were fighting for your freedom any way is new fashion now days blame everthing on dinka even people have problems with their own wife still blame on dinka better joined us to fight for dignity of south a gainst dark angle and prophet of nuer riak

          repondre message

  • 15 May 23:52, by Akol Liai Mager

    Because it is a man-made religion, Islam has been unfair to the weak, especially women. As it has been so cruelty, harsh, inhumane and brutal against women, it might continue so and the Planet Earth, will continue to be a no-good place for women and weak. If it was fair, Muslim men who buy sex with both men/women should also face the same cruelty. Jesus will welcome this poor lady to his Kingdom.

    repondre message

  • 16 May 03:04, by Gabriel KK

    Islam is all about injustices and killings. Jesus Christ, the founder of my faith did not kill a women who committed an adultery but instead told her to repent from her act.

    repondre message

  • 16 May 05:34, by Emporio

    Shame on jalaby to deny right of living to This poor darfurian woman this is what islam about practicing islam on black poor that its the justice jalaby talking about everyday I bet you jalaby if she was a shaggy or galli woman wouldn’t face all that ,,,,, the babriac justice system in sudan need to change

    repondre message

  • 16 May 08:05, by Kalo

    The Islamic religious in Sudan is meaningless,just political motivated,just racism,discrimination against African native of Sudan that is why we will never stay with those brutality regime in the same land of Sudan better war until the last day,if the Muslim women marriage christian men was to be adultery,why did Muslim men married Christian women,sharia should be applied to Arabs only in Sudan.

    repondre message

  • 16 May 08:14, by 4Justice

    Revealed: Hillary Clinton’s State Department refused to classify Boko Haram as a ’terror group’ even after it threatened to ’murder the U.S. ambassador’ to Nigeria

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2628549/Benghazi-II-Hillary-Clintons-State-Department-ignored-Boko-Haram-terror-groups-2012-threat-murder-U-S-ambassador-Nigeria.html

    Islamic terrorists are the Luciferian globalists [Agents Of Satan] perfect foot soldiers needed to destabilise Africa and specifically target Christians who refuse to go along with their satanic project for a one world satanic antichrist religion.

    repondre message

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