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Sudanese woman accused of apostasy to be freed - but world remains skeptical

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
6/1/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Meriam Ibrahim was sentenced to be flogged and executed for marrying Christian man - is her ordeal over?

Sentenced to death for apostasy, Sudanese woman Meriam Ibrahim is now set to be freed in a few days. Her lawyers, however, say they will not believe it until they see her walk out of prison.

Sentenced to death for apostasy, Sudanese woman Meriam Ibrahim is now set to be freed in a few days. Her lawyers, however, say they will not believe it until they see her walk out of prison.

Sentenced to death for apostasy, Sudanese woman Meriam Ibrahim is now set to be freed in a few days. Her lawyers, however, say they will not believe it until they see her walk out of prison.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
6/1/2014 (3 years ago)

Published in Africa

Keywords: Meriam Ibrahim, apostasay, freed, skepticism, Sudan


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The African nation of Sudan appeared to be bowing to international pressure to free the woman who enraged her society by marrying a Christian man. Now, a foreign ministry spokesman said that Meriam Ibrahim would be released and not face further charges.

Lawyers for the 27-year-old Ibrahim remain skeptical that she would be freed so quickly.

Starvation never takes a vacation --

"It's a statement to silence the international media," Elshareef Ali Mohammed says. "This is what the government does. We will not believe that she is being freed until she walks out of the prison.

"If they were to release her, the announcement would come from the appeal court, and not from the ministry of foreign affairs. But at least it shows our campaign to free Meriam is rattling them. We must keep up the pressure."

The day after Judge Abbas Khalifa handed down his ruling that Ibrahim would face death by hanging prompted global outrage and spurred an international campaign to free her. In Sudan, abandoning Islam is a crime punishable by death.

The mother of two, her husband Daniel Wani has dual American-Sudanese citizenship. He says that his wife was raised as a Christian. She says her Muslim father abandoned the family when she was a child.

Britain had been "putting intense pressure on the Sudanese government" to ensure her release.

"Hopefully the international outrage will push the Sudanese authorities into a situation where they feel they have to release Meriam," Mark Simmonds, the Foreign Office's Africa minister, said this past weekend.

Prime Minister David Cameron has added his voice to that of former U.S. president Bill Clinton, the United Nations and a series of American senators in condemning the sentence.

"The way she is being treated is barbaric and has no place in today's world," the Prime Minister said. "Religious freedom is an absolute, fundamental human right.

"I urge the government of Sudan to overturn the sentence and immediately provide appropriate support and medical care for her and her children."

The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby, backed a statement from the Christian Muslim Forum in Britain calling for the sentence to be rescinded. "I wholeheartedly endorse this call for the death sentence against Meriam to be dropped," he said.

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