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Sudan release woman on death row for apostasy


By MOHAMED OSMAN

KHARTOUM, Sudan (AP) -- A Sudanese woman on death row for apostasy had her sentence canceled and was released by a Khartoum court on Monday, her lawyer and state media said.

State news agency SUNA said the Court of Cassation canceled the death sentence against 27-year-old Meriam Ibrahim after defense lawyers presented their case. Her lawyer, Eman Abdul-Rahim, told The Associated Press that Ibrahim has left prison and is with her husband and two small children, who had been with her in jail.

Ibrahim, whose father was Muslim but who was raised by her Christian mother, was convicted of apostasy for marrying a Christian. Sudan's penal code criminalizes the conversion of Muslims to other religions, a crime punishable by death.

Ibrahim married a Christian man from southern Sudan in a church ceremony in 2011. As in many Muslim nations, Muslim women in Sudan are prohibited from marrying non-Muslims, though Muslim men can marry outside their faith.

Ibrahim has a son, 18-month-old Martin, who was living with her in jail, where she gave birth to a second child last month. By law, children must follow their father's religion.

The sentence drew international condemnation, with Amnesty International calling it "abhorrent." The U.S. State Department said it was "deeply disturbed" by the sentence and called on the Sudanese government to respect religious freedoms.

On Monday, U.S. Rep. Chris Smith, who had met with the Sudanese Ambassador to discuss Ibrahim's case, described the release as "a huge first step."

"But the second step is that Ms. Ibrahim and her husband and their children be on a plane heading to the United States," he added. It's not clear whether Ibrahim had planned to travel to the United States.

Sudan introduced Islamic Shariah law in the early 1980s under the rule of autocrat Jaafar Nimeiri, a move that contributed to the resumption of an insurgency in the mostly animist and Christian south of Sudan. The south seceded in 2011 to become the world's newest nation, South Sudan.

Sudanese President Omar Bashir, an Islamist who seized power in a 1989 military coup, has said his country 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 all escaped execution by recanting their new faith.

Christian Mother Freed After Outcry Over Death Sentence

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DWH June 23 2014 at 2:48 PM

How great is 'our God'....this lady stood firm in her belief, one few people have other than themselves....and was willing to die for her Lord! What amazing courage and faith, one that is salt and light for the world to see.

"simply said"
wyn

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12 replies
Captain Jack June 23 2014 at 2:45 PM

why are we getting involved in a case in the Sudan and Not over a Marine in Mexico?

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34 replies
tpm June 23 2014 at 2:50 PM

Wonderful news! I hope Meriam, Daniel and their children will soon be living here in the U.S. or somewhere else safe and where they are free to love Jesus as they do. He is a U.S. citizen, for those who don't know. And I join with the multitudes of persecuted victims worldwide that Congressman Chris Smith deserves a Nobel nomination, for he has done more than any other serving politician in America to advance the cause of human rights.

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9 replies
lichwala June 23 2014 at 2:47 PM

So much for the religion peace. Marry a non-muslim and be sentenced to death.

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7 replies
m4christ2 June 23 2014 at 2:44 PM

look at it this way, we are helping these people. if they kill their own for being christian, do you think they'll let us off the hook after they control america?

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11 replies
Carrie June 23 2014 at 2:44 PM

Sudan...you need to get over yourself. Who cares about religion? Seriously, as long as two people love each other that is all that should matter. Religion always has to get in the way of every freaking issue in this world. Can we all just love each other and not worry about race or religion? Come on.

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13 replies
Elaine June 23 2014 at 2:47 PM

I am encouraged today that people (where ever they are) still have the ability to think rationally and with heart driven motives. Thank you.

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1 reply
n1khb Elaine June 23 2014 at 3:01 PM

Heart driven? How about politically driven?

Flag Reply +7 rate up
2 replies
nikeiausa n1khb June 23 2014 at 4:56 PM

Most citizens are lazy and don't even vote. They all leave it to someone else. That's why our politics is so messed up.

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jakki051 n1khb June 23 2014 at 9:50 PM

Nikeiausa, politics is messed up because you have EVIL POLITICIANS IN OFFICE!!!!! EVEN IF YOU VOTE FOR SOMEONE DOESN'T MEAN THEY WILL DO RIGHT! You've had people become EVIL WITH POWER IN OFFICE. YOU NEVER WOULD HAVE THOUGHT THEY WOULD HAVE DONE SOME OF THE THINGS THEY DO!

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bbowens8 June 23 2014 at 3:27 PM

I haven't read all the post but I bet somewhere someone will blame President Obama, there is always one.

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2 replies
mclkarim bbowens8 June 23 2014 at 3:35 PM

I know what you mean.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
gramargo bbowens8 June 23 2014 at 5:53 PM

I've counted three so far. They just can't resist, can they?

Flag Reply 0 rate up
StylzByLois June 23 2014 at 3:39 PM

What a strong and amazing woman of great conviction!

Flag Reply +4 rate up
Dave June 23 2014 at 4:47 PM

What a barbaric, ignorant bunch of people. And we allow them into this country? Shame!

Flag Reply +4 rate up
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