Friday 16 May 2014
Sudanese woman sentenced to death for apostasy
A Sudanese court has sentenced a woman to death by hanging for apostasy after she left Islam and married a Christian man.
“We gave you three days to recant but you insist on not returning to Islam. I sentence you to be hanged to death,” the judge told the woman, AFP reports.Western embassies and rights groups had urged Sudan to respect the right of the pregnant woman to choose her religion.
Local media report the sentence would not be carried out for two years after she has given birth.
The BBC reports that Sudan has a majority Muslim population, which is governed by Islamic law. It rules that apostasy – the abandonment of one’s religious faith – is a crime.
The judge also sentenced the woman to 100 lashes after convicting her of adultery – because her marriage to a Christian man was not valid under Islamic law.
Earlier in the hearing, an Islamic cleric spoke with her in a caged dock for about 30 minutes, AFP reports.
Then she calmly told the judge: “I am a Christian and I never committed apostasy.”
Amnesty International said the woman, Meriam Yehya Ibrahim Ishag, was raised as an Orthodox Christian, her mother’s religion, because her father, a Muslim, was reportedly absent during her childhood.
In court, the judge addressed her by her Muslim name, Adraf Al-Hadi Mohammed Abdullah.
She was convicted of adultery on the grounds that her marriage to a Christian man from South Sudan was void under Sudan’s version of Islamic law, which says Muslim women cannot marry non-Muslims. SOURCE