Sudanese woman sentenced to death gives birth in prison
A Sudanese woman sentenced to death after marrying a Christian man reportedly gave birth to a girl in prison, a month earlier than her due date.
The condition of her Meriam Yehya Ibrahim’s newborn daughter is not known.
The Omdurman women’s prison where the 27-year-old is being held in isolation has only a basic clinic.
Ibrahim was convicted of apostasy — or renouncing of religious (Muslim) faith — earlier this month and sentenced to death by hanging.
She was also convicted of adultery for marrying a Christian man, and was handed a punishment of 100 lashes (she was charged with adultery because it’s prohibited for Muslim women to marry Christian men under the country’s strict Islamic law).
Her lawyer is hoping for an appeal against her sentence, which Sudanese officials say won’t be carried out for two years, when she no longer needs to nurse her baby.
Ibrahim also has a 20-month old son who is being held in prison with her.
The woman’s husband Daniel Wani, an American originally from South Sudan, is in Khartoum to fight his wife’s sentence and secure the release of Ibrahim and their two children.
Wani had been trying to get his wife a visa to live with him in the United States.
Although born to a Muslim father, Ibrahim was raised Ethiopian Orthodox Christian by her mother. Her father left the family when she was just six years old, but by law she is considered to be a Muslim.
The charge of apostasy was added earlier this year when Ibrahim insisted she was Christian, not Muslim.
Following to her conviction on May 15, Ibrahim was given three days to renounce Christianity and convert to Islam. She refused and was sentenced to hang.
Her lawyers are hoping for appeals of the convictions and the sentences to be granted.
Meanwhile, international organizations are raising their voices to condemn the Sudanese government over Ibrahim’s sentencing.
More than 600,000 people have signed an Amnesty International petition calling for Ibrahim’s release.
The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights urged the Sudanese government to drop the sentence.
In Canada, Ambassador for Religious Freedom Andrew Bennett issued a statement saying that Sudan’s decision is shocking and appalling.
Bennett urged Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir to protect freedom of religion, including the right to change one’s faith, and demanded justice and compassion in the appeal of Ibrahim’s case.
With files from Nick Logan
© Shaw Media, 2014