Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Primitive Justice Global Pressure Saves a Sudanese Mother's Life

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Primitive Justice Global Pressure Saves a Sudanese Mother's Life

Article excerpt

In 2012, a young woman was sentenced to death in Sudan for marrying a Christian. Meriam Yehia Ibrahim was charged with the capital offense of renouncing Islam, the religion of the father who abandoned her when she was 6 years old.

Given that her Ethiopian mother, a Christian, raised her, Ms. Ibrahim was never in a position to renounce Islam because she never assented to it in the first place. Yet she was charged with apostasy and also adultery, which under Sudanese law occurs during marriage between a Muslim and a non-believer.

Although pregnant at the time, Ms. Ibrahim was sentenced to 100 lashes and death by hanging. The barbarity of her sentence generated international outrage and condemnation for Sudan's leaders and its archaic judicial system.

The verdict against Ms. Ibrahim violated Sudan's 2005 constitution, which gives religious freedom to its citizens. Her lawyers seized on this and argued that their client, who gave birth to a daughter in prison, had been condemned unjustly. …

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