Meriam Yehya Ibrahim was sentenced to death by hanging for not denouncing her Christian faith. The eight-month pregnant Sudanese will also receive 100 lashes as the court does not recognize her marriage to a Christian, and is considered a Muslim. Under Sharia law it’s considered adultery. Her punishment will begin after she gives birth.
Judge Abbas Khalifa gave Ibrahim three days to denounce her faith to save her life, but refused. “I sentence you to be hanged to death,” he said according to the Associated Press, and refused her the rights of freedom of worship granted in the new constitution.
Image of Meriam Yehya Ibrahim and her husband from the Sudan Global Justice Center
There has been international outcry for the 26-year-old through social media and media networks with the hope the Sudanese government would cave. The U.S. and the entire international community demands the sentence be reversed immediately, said Republican Chris Smith of New Jersey. The court said it stands on its decision, but representatives are backpedaling, stating the ruling was preliminary and can be appealed.
With a network of three-million supporters and activists, Amnesty International, is working to free Ibrahim.
“Amnesty International believes that Meriam is a prisoner of conscience, convicted solely because of her religious beliefs and identity, and must be released immediately and unconditionally.”
The organization is calling out Saudi Arabia’s sentencing of blogger Raif Badawi who is accused of insulting Islam by having online discussions on his website “Free Saudi Liberals.”
Badawi was sentenced to 10 years in prison, a fine of over $200,000, and will be given 1,000 lashes, but never denounced his Muslim faith. Badawi was sentenced to seven years in prison for cybercrime, and freedom of expression through his website.
“Raif Badawi is the latest victim to fall prey to the ruthless campaign to silence peaceful activists in Saudi Arabia,” said Amnesty International. “The authorities seem determined to crush all forms of dissent through every means at their disposal, including imposing harsh prison sentences and corporal punishment on activists.”
Pastor Saeed Abedini is still being held in a Tehran prison where he’s serving an eight-year sentenced for his Christian faith and was hospitalized for beatings in April. News leaked of more human rights violations and beatings in Iranian prisons. Iranian Christians Silas Rabbani and Amin Khaki were arrested and reportedly tortured in jail.
Christian Solidarity Worldwide is a nonprofit organization advocating for religious freedom worldwide since 1997. Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas is concerned regarding recent reports.
“We urge the Iranian authorities to refrain from any form of torture or violence, which violates their obligations under article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which prohibits torture and cruel inhuman and degrading treatment, and article 10, which states that prisoners should be treated with humanity and with respect for their inherent human dignity.”