Sudanese woman sentenced to death for apostasy released

2014-06-25 Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) A Sudanese court has canceled the death sentence of a Christian woman who had been convicted of apostasy.

Meriam Ibrahim, 27, was released from prison, along with her two small children who had remained with her during her incarceration, after defense lawyers presented their case.

The wife and mother has been reunited with her husband after being released from custody, her lawyer, Mohaned Mustafa El-Nour, said Monday.

The case drew international attention last month when the wife and mother was convicted of apostasy, and sentenced to death when she refused to relinquish her Christian faith.

Upon receiving her conviction last May, the court gave Ibrahim three days to recant her Christian faith. "I am a Christian," she told the court on the day of her sentence hearing, "and I will remain a Christian."

Ibrahim, whose father was Muslim but who was raised according to the Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity of her mother, married Daniel Bicensio Wani, a Christian, in 2011. The law states that children must follow their father’s religion, and that Muslim women are prohibited from marrying non-Muslims.

Sudan's penal code criminalizes the conversion of Muslims to other religions, a crime punishable by death. 

(From archive of Vatican Radio)