Sudanese Woman Condemned for Apostasy to Go Free
Good news from Sudan. The foreign ministry says that the woman condemned to death for apostasy and who gave birth in prison will go free "within days."
Ministry spokesman Abdullah al-Azraq announced the development late Saturday in Khartoum, just days after the woman — 27-year-old Mariam Yahya Ibrahim — gave birth in prison while awaiting her execution.
Ibrahim is also the mother of a 20-month-old son. Both children are incarcerated with their mother.
Born to a Christian mother and a Muslim father and raised Christian after the father left the family, Ibrahim said she had never herself been a Muslim, despite Sudanese law defining children of Muslim fathers as Muslims by definition.
A court in early May gave her four days to recant her Christian faith, and imposed the death penalty when she refused to do so.
Christian-Muslim unions such as Ibrahim's marriage to U.S. citizen Daniel Wani are defined under Sudanese law as adultery, prompting the judge to impose an additional sentence of 100 lashes on the young mother.
Ibrahim's husband, Daniel Wani, is a Christian. He was not allowed to visit his wife and children on the day of the daughter's birth, but did see his family a few days afterwards. He says they are all doing well.
Sudan has made no move to change the law, so one assumes that this outrage can happen again and again. Perhaps next time, the Sudanese won't be quite so public about the matter, and some unfortunate woman will pay the price for living in a country stuck in the eighth century.
There were very few expressions of outrage from Muslim countries. Why should there have been? Many would have done the exact same thing. Some may have even resisted the calls from western countries to let her go.
This kind of thing must be punished as surely as a nation is taken to task for violating the human rights of its own people. Trade sanctions, aid withheld, travel restrictions -- until there is a strong, vital reaction from the west, this kind of outrage will continue.