Meriam Ibrahim: Sudan death sentence condemned by UK leaders

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UK political leaders have united to urge Sudan to lift the “barbaric” death sentence handed down to a Christian woman accused of abandoning Islam.

A court ruled that Meriam Ibrahim, who was raised by her Christian mother and married a Christian, was Muslim in line with her father – which she rejects.

David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg said the case appalled them.

The Foreign Office has called in the Sudanese charge d’affaires to ask for her release on humanitarian grounds.

Foreign Office Minister Mark Simmonds said he would tell the diplomat it was important that the Sudanese government put pressure on the courts to free Ms Ibrahim.

Ms Ibrahim, who has appealed against her sentence, gave birth to a daughter in her cell on Wednesday.

The Prime Minister said her treatment had “no place in today’s world” and said the UK would “continue to press the government of Sudan to act”.

Lib Dem leader Mr Clegg and Labour leader Mr Miliband both said her case was “abhorrent”.

As Andrew Harding reports, Dani Wani visited his wife in prison
Meanwhile, former defence secretary Liam Fox said the UK should reconsider whether it was “acceptable” to give aid money to “states which allow treatment such as that handed out to Meriam Ibrahim”.

Ms Ibrahim’s husband, Daniel Wani, who is a US citizen, told the BBC he was hopeful the appeal would succeed.

MeriamHe said he had seen his new daughter in prison on Wednesday, and his wife and the baby were both doing well.

But he said he was most concerned about his 20-month-old son, who has been living with his mother in prison since February.

Nobody should be persecuted because of the religion they practice or the person they fall in love with”

Ed Miliband
Labour Party leader
“His attitude has changed a lot,” Mr Wani said.

“He used to be a happy boy. When I went there, he just looked at me. No smile.”

Ms Ibrahim, 27, was brought up as an Orthodox Christian, but a Sudanese judge ruled earlier this month that she should be regarded as Muslim because it had been her father’s faith.

She has refused to renounce her Christianity and has been sentenced to death by hanging for apostasy.

The court said she would be allowed to nurse her baby for two years before the sentence is carried out.

Her Christian marriage, in 2011, has been annulled and she has been sentenced to 100 lashes for adultery because the marriage is not considered valid under Islamic law.

Read more at BBC

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