Denounce Christianity or face death
A Sudanese court imposed a death sentence by hanging to a Sudanese pregnant woman who refused to denounce her Christian faith in front of the court.
According to media reports, the court gave a 27-year-old woman a choice to abandon her newly adopted Christian faith and return to Islam or face a death sentence.
Meriam Yahya Ibrahim was charged with apostasy as well as adultery for marrying a Christian man. The young woman is set to face a penalty of 100 lashes because her marriage to a Christian man is considered void under Sharia law.
Ibrahim’s case is considered the first of its kind to be heard in Sudan.
Igniting national and international protests
In recent weeks, Sudanese university students have staged protests near Khartoum University demanding for an end to human rights abuses, and calling for actions to improve the social and economic conditions of the Sudanese people.
In addition, western embassies and Sudanese activists expressed strong condemation of the ruling against the Sudanese. The United States of America for one has expressed deep concern on the ruling againts Meriam Yahya Ibrahim Ishag to death by hanging for apostasy.
In a press statement in Washington DC, Deputy Department Spokesperson Marie Harf said the US is also deeply concerned by the flogging sentence for adultery.
The US calls on the Government of Sudan to respect the right to freedom of religion, a right which is enshrined in Sudan’s own 2005 Interim Constitution as well as international human rights law.
“We call on the Sudanese legal authorities to approach this case with the compassion that is in keeping with the values of the Sudanese people.” – Ms. Harf
Apostasy punishable by death?
According to its Sharia law which is legal basis of Islam, apostasy is traditionally punishable by death. However, modern muslim scholars have rejected this view and argue for religious freedom instead.
Apostasy comes in many forms and one is conversion to another religion. According to Sharia, those who committed apostasy has forfeited his life and is to be put to death by the state.