Woman to Face Death Row After Converting to Christianity, Finds Freedom; British PM David Cameron Calls Verdict ‘Barbaric’
By Jenille Cristy Maido | June 3, 2014 6:01 PM EST
A 27-year-old Sudanese woman who has been sentenced to death for apostasy will be released, reports said. Her freedom came after an international outcry for the "inhumane" court decision.
Merriam Ibrahim, sentenced to 100 lashes and death by hanging, will be freed in a few days as declared by authorities in a BBC report. The Sudanese received the verdict of death earlier this month after she refused to abandon her Christian faith and hug Islam. The 100 lashes were punishment for adultery after marrying a Christian man.
Abdullahi Alzareg, an undersecretary at the Foreign Ministry, expressed that Sudan guaranteed religious freedom and was committed to protecting Ibrahim.
Ibrahim was raised as a Christian Orthodox. But the Sudanese court ruled that she is a Muslim because it was her father's religion. The Sudanese law requires children to adopt their father's faith. The court released an ultimatum for her to convert to Islam or be hanged. But the woman refused insisting that she was a Christian. Her refusal led to the verdict which later resulted to an international outcry condemning the court ruling.
Reports said when the verdict was delivered, Ibrahim was already eight months pregnant. Later, she gave birth to a daughter while in custody. The child was her second child on her husband who is an American citizen. In the ruling, the court allowed her to nurse the child for two years before the delivery of the death sentence.
Ibrahim's lawyers informed news organizations that they will fight for this case. One of those pushing to free the woman was the United Kingdom Foreign Office. The institution believed the ruling is not humanitarian and vow to push the release of Ibrahim for humanitarian grounds.
British Prime Minister David Cameron said the sentence is "barbaric" and is way out of in the modern world.
Sudan, specifically Khartoum, has been condemned for this kind of death sentence. Currently, there are 13 countries in the world that sentence death to those who committed apostasy. These countries include Afghanistan, Iran, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Nigeria, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.
As of this writing, Ibrahim is yet to be informed about the decision of her release.
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