Saturday 23 September 2017

Condemned woman 'can have baby'

A statue on St. Matthew's Catholic Cathedral near the Sudanese capital Khartoum. A Sudanese judge sentenced a Christian woman to hang for apostasy, despite appeals by Western embassies for compassion and respect for religious freedom. Photo: ASHRAF SHAZLY/AFP/Getty Images
A statue on St. Matthew's Catholic Cathedral near the Sudanese capital Khartoum. A Sudanese judge sentenced a Christian woman to hang for apostasy, despite appeals by Western embassies for compassion and respect for religious freedom. Photo: ASHRAF SHAZLY/AFP/Getty Images

Lucy Kinder

An Islamic court in the Sudanese capital has said that a pregnant woman sentenced to hang for apostasy after she married a Christian man will be allowed to give birth before she is executed.

Meriam Yehya Ibrahim (27), who was born to a Muslim father but brought up a Christian by her mother, was convicted on Sunday in Khartoum and given three days to recant her faith or face a possible death sentence.

"We gave you three days to recant but you insist on not returning to Islam. I sentence you to be hanged," Judge Abbas Mohammed Al-Khalifa told Mrs Ibrahim, addressing her by her father's name, Adraf Al-Hadi Mohammed Abdullah.

Mrs Ibrahim also faces a sentence of flogging for adultery on the grounds that her marriage to a Christian man from South Sudan is considered void under Islamic law. She will be given 100 lashes. Because her father was Muslim, she was considered by the court to be the same.

Mrs Ibrahim told the judge: "I am a Christian and I never committed apostasy."

Her lawyer said that she intended to appeal against the decision.

Amnesty International said Mrs Ibrahim was eight months pregnant and in detention with her 20-month-old son.

A spokesman said: "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."

The sentence has been condemned by the international community. In a joint statement, the embassies of Britain, the United States, Canada and the Netherlands expressed "deep concern" over her case. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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