May 15, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A Sudanese woman who is eight months pregnant was sentenced to death by hanging today for the crime of converting to Christianity.
Meriam Yahia Ibrahim, 27, was found guilty of apostasy earlier this week, and given until today to recant her faith. When asked in court today whether she would return to Islam, she reportedly responded, “I am a Christian and I never committed apostasy.”
“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 responded, according to RTE.
Ibrahim was raised as an Orthodox Christian from the age of six, when her Muslim father left his family. However, she was reportedly denounced to authorities by a relative after she married a Christian man, Daniel Wani.
Wani told CNN today that he feels helpless. “I'm so frustrated. I don't know what to do,” he said. “I'm just praying.”
Ibrahim was also charged and convicted of 'adultery,' since Sudanese law doesn’t consider her marriage to Wani valid. This conviction carries the sentence of 100 lashes
Currently Ibrahim remains in prison with her 20 month old son, where she has been ever since her arrest in February.
International human rights agencies, and western governments have condemned the sentence, which was based upon Sudan’s application of Sharia law.
“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,” said the embassies of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Netherlands in a statement.
“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.”
CNN reports that in the past, the Sudanese government has waited until a pregnant woman condemned to death has weaned her child, before carrying out the execution.