Doubts over death row release for Sudan Christian mother

A Sudanese Christian mother sentenced to death for apostasy is to be released from prison, a Sudan foreign ministry official says.

Meriam Ibrahim would be “freed within days in line with legal procedure that will be undertaken by the judiciary and the ministry of justice”, said Abdullah Alazreg.

But Mrs Ibrahim’s lawyer, Mohanned Mustapha, told Al Jazeera that the final decision rested with an appeals court.

This was also the position taken in a foreign ministry clarification.

Mr Mustapha said Mr Alazreg’s statement was an attempt to take the heat out of the international coverage of Ms Ibrahim’s plight.

It was not so much a genuine reflection of what might happen, the lawyer said.

Ms Ibrahim gave birth to a girl last week in prison, her second child.

The 27-year-old was raised as an Orthodox Christian by her Christian mother.

But a Sudanese judge ruled last month that she should be regarded as Muslim because that had been her father’s faith.

Her father abandoned her family when she was a child.

Ms Ibrahim was convicted of adultery and apostasy for marrying a Christian.

She was sentenced to hang, under the Islamic law that has been in place since 1983 and outlaws conversions under pain of death.

Her husband is Daniel Wani, who is a United States citizen.

The court also sentenced her to 100 lashes before she is executed.

The court previously said Ms Ibrahim would be allowed to nurse her baby for two years before the sentence was carried out.

Her case has sparked international outrage and there has been growing pressure on Sudan’s government to have her sentence overturned.

An Amnesty International petition attracted more than 200,000 signatures and more than 600,000 people added their name to a separate petition on

UK Prime Minister David Cameron called Ms Ibrahim’s treatment “barbaric” and said it had no place in the modern world.

Her case has sparked debate in the UK as to whether the British government should cut off aid to Sudan.


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