Meriam Ibrahim, the Sudanese woman sentenced to death for apostasy, is to be freed in a few days, a senior Sudanese official has said. But her lawyers say they will not believe it until they see her walk out of prison
Sudan appeared to be bowing to international pressure on Saturday night to free a woman sentenced to death for apostasy. A foreign ministry spokesman said that Meriam Ibrahim would be released and not face further charges.
But lawyers for 27-year-old Ms Ibrahim expressed scepticism that she would be freed so quickly.
“It’s a statement to silence the international media,” said Elshareef Ali Mohammed. “This is what the government does. We will not believe that she is being freed until she walks out of the prison.”
US ‘fully engaged’ in case of Sudanese woman sentenced to die for Christian faith
Sudanese President Omar Bashir, meanwhile, has said his county will implement Islam more strictly now that the non-Muslim south is gone. A number of Sudanese have been convicted of apostasy in recent years, but they have all escaped execution by recanting their faith.
On Friday, the American Islamic Forum for Democracy blasted Bashir’s regime and said inaction by the international community was akin to being complicit in the his crimes against humanity, including systematic rape, murder and torture.
“The Sudanese court’s decision to sentence Meriam Ibrahim to life in prison and physical torture is as repugnant as any attack on human rights,” AIFD officials said in a statement. “Freedom of conscience — the freedom to choose any faith or none at all — is a basic and inalienable human right. For every Meriam there are hundreds to thousands more we do not hear about. When will the international community and all individuals of conscience say enough to barbaric regimes like Al-Bashir’s?”