As citizens all over the United States celebrate their mothers, a pregnant mother in Sudan was handed down the final verdict: death. As she sits in her prison cell, comforting her almost two-year-old son, she awaits the birth of her second child. But instead of feeling the jubilance of new life, she recognizes that the birth of this child means the start of her execution. And once she is gone, her children won’t be with her beloved husband, they will go to the state of Sudan.
How could this happen? How could an innocent woman lose her life? How could two children lose their mother? How could a father have his wife executed and lose his children? It happens because of Sudan’s radical Islamic law and because a Christian woman married a Christian man, and her relatives were upset.
I have been following the case of Meriam Yahia Ibrahim. She was raised a Christian in the western part of Sudan. She is a practicing MD. She married a South Sudanese man who is also a Christian. They have one son and another child to be born within a month or so.
In February, Meriam was arrested by Sudanese authorities and thrown in prison with her 20-month-old son. She had not been charged and had not received a fair trial.
On March 4, she was convicted of adultery and apostasy. But how can this be? She was married. She never practiced Islam. Because of the laws in Sudan, Meriam is considered a Muslim just because she was born there. Her marriage is therefore illegitimate in the eyes of the law. So, she has committed adultery by having children outside of wedlock and apostasy because she is a Christian. She will receive 100 lashes for adultery and execution for apostasy.
Today, May 11th, as the US celebrated Mother’s Day, this Sudanese woman and her legal team defended her innocence. However, the court struck down their appeal. Her conviction has been upheld. Once her unborn child is delivered next month, experts believe that her execution will be carried out.
Daniel Wani, her husband, is ineligible to receive custody of his children because Meriam was convicted of adultery. The children will go to the state of Sudan. That is, if the children survive.
According to Justice Center Sudan (JCS), Meriam has suffered multiple beatings, been denied medical treatment, including prenatal care and vitamins, as well as mental pressure by Sudanese officials promising her release should she convert. The health of her unborn child is unknown.
International Christian Concern’s (ICC) Regional Manager, William Stark, said, “We grieve today at the sentencing to death of a mother, pregnant with her second child, for the expression of her faith and legal marriage to a practicing Christian. The handing down of such an extreme punishment under a law inspired by the al-Turabi radicalism of the early al-Bashir regime brings into question the direction Sudan intends to head following South Sudanese succession. Having embraced policies of Islamization and Arabization in the past, ICC fears Meriam could be the first of many more Christians to suffer under an increasingly radicalized Sudanese government intent on enforcing Shari’ah law throughout the land.”
International Christian Concern.
Voice of the Martyrs