Home | News    Saturday 14 June 2014

US secretary of state condemns apostasy death sentence

separation
increase
decrease
separation
separation

May 13, 2014 (WASHINGTON) – US secretary of state John Kerry has slammed the sentencing of a Sudanese Christian woman to death for her religious views, urging the country to repeal its laws criminalising conversion from Islam.

JPEG - 14.8 kb
Meriam Yahya Ibrahim Ishag, pictured with her husband Daniel Wani on their wedding day

“The United States remains deeply concerned about the conviction and continued imprisonment of Ms Meriam Yahya Ibrahim Ishag,” he said in a statement on Thursday.

Ibrahim was convicted of apostasy on 15 May and sentenced to hang after refusing to revert to Islam. The court also sentenced her to 100 lashes for adultery as her marriage to a Christian man is considered invalid under Sudan’s Islamic Shari’a law.

Ibrahim, who was born to a largely absent Sudanese Muslim father, was raised according to her Ethiopian mother’s Christian faith.

She has been imprisoned with her 20-month-old son, Martin, since her arrest in December last year and gave birth to a baby girl in prison on 27 May.

As a Christian, her husband is not able to legally claim custody of his children and they remain in custody with their mother.

Kerry has urged the Sudanese government to release Ibrahim and allow her to return home with her family.

“I urge the Sudanese judiciary and government to respect Ms Ishag’s fundamental right to freedom of religion,” he said.

He said Sudan’s current laws were at odds with its own 2005 interim constitution and international law and should be repealed.

“Such actions would help to demonstrate to the Sudanese people that their government intends to respect their fundamental freedoms and universal human rights,” he said.

The top diplomat said he remained “deeply committed” to a better future for Sudan and its people.

“Sudan’s journey has long been a struggle, and back when I was still a United States senator, I travelled to the region many times to help find greater understanding and hope for a different kind of future,” he said.

“That is one of the reasons we are all so concerned about the travails of Meriam Yahya Ibrahim Ishag,” he added.

Ibrahim’s sentence has sparked international outrage, with some US senators calling on Kerry to personally intervene in the case and offer her asylum.

Her husband Daniel Wani is a South Sudanese-born US citizen and as such her children are automatically entitled to citizenship regardless of their country of birth.

However, the US has yet to officially recognise the citizenship of their son, indicating it may require a paternity test, despite Wani submitting supporting documents, including a birth and marriage certificates to the embassy in Khartoum.

The matter was the subject of a heated exchange between a journalist and deputy spokesperson Marie Harf at a press briefing on 5 June in which Harf declined to comment on whether the documents submitted by Wani validating the marriage and birth of their son voided the need for a paternity test.

Harf, who claimed she had no knowledge of the documents, would also not be drawn on whether any steps had been taken to verify their authenticity.

Ibrahim’s legal team has since launched an appeal against the sentence and have indicated they would explore all avenues. If upheld, Ibrahim’s execution would be carried out within the next two years after her baby is fully weaned.

(ST)

- US reluctant to comment on citizenship claim for children of Sudanese woman on death row
- Sudanese woman sentenced to death for religious beliefs gives birth in prison
- Pregnant Sudanese Christian woman sentenced to death

Comments on the Sudan Tribune website must abide by the following rules. Contravention of these rules will lead to the user losing their Sudan Tribune account with immediate effect.

- No inciting violence
- No inappropriate or offensive language
- No racism, tribalism or sectarianism
- No inappropriate or derogatory remarks
- No deviation from the topic of the article
- No advertising, spamming or links
- No incomprehensible comments

Due to the unprecedented amount of racist and offensive language on the site, Sudan Tribune tries to vet all comments on the site.

There is now also a limit of 400 words per comment. If you want to express yourself in more detail than this allows, please e-mail your comment as an article to comment@sudantribune.com

Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

Comment on this article


 
 

The following ads are provided by Google. SudanTribune has no authority on it.


Sudan Tribune

Promote your Page too

Latest Comments & Analysis


Undermining South Sudanese expertise’s is ironical! 2014-09-19 10:15:59 By Peter Gai Manyuon September 18, 2014 - The recent order from the Ministry of Labor and Public Service in the Republic of South Sudan that was issued on 16th of September 2014 is absolute (...)

Sudan - Colliding interests 2014-09-16 10:04:11 By Mohamed Elshabik September 15, 2014 - Sudan seems to be unconcerned by the current political crisis in the region. Amid a prognosis of full-scale war in South Sudan, unrest in Egypt, chaos in (...)

A pastoral appeal to South Sudanese to reconcile 2014-09-16 09:19:03 By Rev. Bernard Oliya Suwa, PhD September 15, 2014 - The 15th of December 2013 is a date that we South Sudanese are not going to forget any time soon – and so we shouldn't! After the violence (...)


MORE








Latest Press Releases


Sudan Democracy First Group: Art as resistance – art as resilience 2014-09-09 12:34:15 Sudan Democracy First Group Art as Resistance – Art as Resilience September 8, 2014 - To mark the third anniversary of the resumption of civil war in Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains/South Kordofan, (...)

Sudan: Those behind unlawful killings and torture of protesters must be brought to justice 2014-09-03 13:13:43 Amnesty International Sudan: Those behind unlawful killings and torture of protesters must be brought to justice The brutal suppression of protest in Sudan must end, and members of the security (...)

National Dialogue in Sudan: Past experiences and current challenges 2014-08-27 06:18:22 Sudan Democracy First Group (SDFG) Since independence, Sudan has undergone a number of national peace agreements, some of which were observed and honored for short periods, others which were (...)


MORE

Copyright © 2003-2014 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.