A Sudanese woman faces the death penalty for apostasy unless she abandons her husband and Christian faith.
Mariam Yahya Ibrahim, 27, has been given until Thursday by the Sudanese Alhag Yousif Criminal Court to leave her Christian husband or face the death penalty for charges of apostasy and adultery, according to Al Jazeera.
Sudanese activist group Sudan Change Now have condemned the ruling by Judge Abbas Alkhalifa as “discrimination” and demonstrating “the regime’s blatant interference in the personal life of Sudanese citizens” saying:
“Labelling her in this way reflects the ruling regimes crimes of social discrimination against women, social groups, and religious sects to which Mariam belongs.”
Western embassies in Khartoum have also expressed concern over the ruling, issuing a joint statement saying:
The Embassies of Canada, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States of America in Khartoum express their deep concern over the apostasy ruling handed down on Sunday in the trial of Meriam Yahia Ibhrahim Ishag. 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, a right which is enshrined in international human rights law as well as in Sudan’s own 2005 Interim Constitution. We further urge Sudanese legal authorities to approach Ms Meriam’s case with justice and compassion that is in keeping with the values of the Sudanese people. We are also concerned over the brutal sentence that could be faced with respect to the finding of adultery.
The Africa Centre for Justice and Peace Studies issued a statement calling for Ibrahim’s release:
Sudanese authorities must immediately release and review the conviction of 27-year old Meriam Yahia Ibrahim who was sentenced to lashings and death for the crimes of adultery and apostasy by a Khartoum Criminal Court on 11 May.