Despite being a member of the United Nations and agreeing to recognize and protect every individual’s right to the free practice of their religion, Sudan is still persecuting Christians at an alarming rate. President Omar Hassan al-Bashir uses strict Shari’a law to govern Sudan. According to the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, he uses “amputations and floggings for crimes and acts of ‘indecency’ and ‘immorality’ and arresting Christians for proselytizing.”
Meriam Yahia Ibrahim is a pregnant, 27-year-old Orthodox Christian mother and wife. She was raised in Western Sudan as a Christian Orthodox. She is a graduate of Khartoum University and, until her arrest, was a practicing MD. She married Daniel Wani, a Christian from South Sudan. They had one son together and are expecting another child.
On February 7, 2014, Meriam was arrested, with her 20-month-old son, and put in a women’s prison. She had not been charged nor did she receive a fair trial. A relative had turned her in to the police for marrying a Christian. According to the Sudan’s Public Order Criminal Code, Meriam is a Muslim by default because she was born in Sudan. Thus, her marriage to a Christian is a criminal act.
On March 4th, Meriam was charged with adultery and apostasy. The adultery charge came with a punishment of 100 lashes. The apostasy charge came with a punishment of death. As it stands, Meriam will be put to death following the birth of her second child.
On May 11th, there will be a hearing to hear witnesses’ testimonies that Meriam has never practiced Islam and cannot possibly be a convert or have broken the law. This is her chance to avoid her death sentence. If it falls through, she will be executed next month, right after birthing her second child.
Meriam’s husband, Daniel, is not allowed to care for their child, Martin, because he is a Christian. Therefore, Martin, almost two years old, is in prison with his mother. Daniel is not allowed to visit or see his son.
Daniel also accuses the prison of withholding medical treatment to his wife. He states that she needs medical attention monthly in order to keep their baby in the womb. However, she is not being treated at all.
International Christian Concern, a Washington DC based non-profit is calling all concerned people to contact the Sudanese Embassy to demand that Meriam be released immediately. They are contacting the government directly but are urging people to put pressure on this government.
The Sudanese Embassy phone number for US citizens is 202-338-8565.
ICC Calls on Government of Sudan to Release Christian Mother on Death Row. www.persecution.org