Africa

Tuesday 29 July 2014

Pregnant doctor to be hanged for not being a Muslim

Lucy Kinder

Published 16/05/2014|02:30

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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
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

A heavily pregnant Christian doctor in Sudan has been sentenced to hang for not being raised as a Muslim.

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Meriam Yehya Ibrahim (27) was convicted on charges of apostasy, or the abandonment of religion, by a court in Khartoum.

Following her conviction on Sunday, she was given three days to recant her faith. "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 the woman.

Mrs Ibrahim also faces a sentence of 100 lashes for adultery on the grounds that her marriage to a Christian man from South Sudan is considered void under Sharia law.

She was brought up as a Christian by her mother. However, because her father was Muslim, she was considered by the court to be the same.

Amnesty International says that Ibrahim is eight months pregnant and in detention with her 20-month-old son.

"Adultery and apostasy are acts which should not be considered crimes at all, let alone meet the international standard of most serious crimes in relation to the death penalty. It is flagrant breach of international human rights law," the group said.

In a joint statement, the embassies of the US, UK, the Netherlands and Canada expressed "deep concern".

"We call upon the government of Sudan to respect the right to freedom of religion, including one's right to change one's faith or beliefs," it said. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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