30th May 2023

Sudanese woman sentenced to death ... will not necessarily be released

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Sudanese woman sentenced to death for apostasy will not necessarily be released

After announcing Saturday the release of Meriam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag, the Sudanese authorities have retracted.

Why was the young woman sentenced?

Raised by her only Orthodox mother, Meriam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag considers herself a Christian. Her own brother filed a lawsuit against her, following her marriage to an American Christian from South Sudan, Dani Wani.

She was sentenced to death by a court that considered she converted to Christianity while her father was a Muslim - apostasy is a crime according to the Sudanese interpretation of sharia (Islamic law). On the other hand, she was given 100 lashes for "adultery", marriage to a Christian being considered as such.

Is there a turnaround of the Sudanese authorities?

The statement by an official at the Sudanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Abdallah Al-Azraq, seemed to indicate his release. He told AFP late last week: "The woman will be released in the coming days according to the legal procedures that will be taken by the judiciary and the Ministry of Justice. "

But the South Sudanese authorities accuse the media of conveying false information, taking the statement out of context. The official claims that he explained that Meriam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag's lawyers had just appealed and that she would be released if the Court of Appeal ruled in her favor.

What future for the young mother and her children?

The release of Meriam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag is becoming less and less certain. According to his lawyer, only the Court of Appeal is able to pronounce his release. However, counsel points out that for the moment, the hearing has been postponed because the file was incomplete.

The young woman gave birth in prison to a little girl on Tuesday 27 May. Her little 20 month boy was also jailed with her.

Western countries and human rights organizations are outraged by the verdict: Amnesty International has petitioned for the girl's immediate release and the cancellation of her execution. However, the application of the verdict is not imminent, the execution to take place in two years.

Is an international appeal possible?

According to Amnesty International, his double conviction is contrary to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Sudan is a signatory. Her lawyers point out that "she is legally married". And, according to the international agreements in force, accepted by the Sudanese government, "there should be no crime of apostasy".

Despite the unanimous condemnation of human rights defenders and Western countries, an international appeal seems implausible.


source: lacroix

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