RELIGION

Meriam Yehya Ibrahim, Pregnant Woman Sentenced To Death For 'Apostasy', Won't Renounce Faith, Husband Says

05/24/2014 08:39 am ET | Updated May 24, 2014

Even in the face of death, a pregnant woman in Sudan says she will not renounce her Christian faith.

Meriam Yehya Ibrahim, who is in her late-twenties, was sentenced to death by hanging earlier this month after being convicted in a Khartoum court of "apostasy." According to the AP, Ibrahim, who is eight months pregnant, was given four days to renounce Christianity and escape death, but she refused to do so.

Ibrahim's husband, Daniel Wani, told Fox News this week that his wife's position has not wavered.

“She said she is not going to convert to Islam,” Wani, an American citizen and Christian, told the news outlet. “And let them do whatever they want to do but she is still a Christian and she is a Christian since she was born.”

Wani has also been quoted as saying that his wife, who is behind bars with their 1-year-old son, spends her days "shackled" in prison, per Fox. "I'm so frustrated. I don't know what to do," he told CNN. "I'm just praying."

CNN says the Sudanese court also convicted Ibrahim of adultery and sentenced her to 100 lashes. Her 2011 marriage to Wani, a non-Muslim, is "considered void" under Shariah law, the news outlet explained.

The international community has decried the brutality of Ibrahim's sentence, with Amnesty International calling it a "flagrant breach of international human rights law."

"The fact that a woman could be sentenced to death for her religious choice, and to flogging for being married to a man of an allegedly different religion, is abhorrent and should never be even considered," said Manar Idriss, the organization's Sudan researcher, per a news release.

The National Security Council, the U.S. State Department and some U.S. lawmakers have also raised their voices to demand Ibrahaim's prompt release, while thousands around the world have rallied online to demand that the execution be stopped.

The conversion of Muslims into other religions is punishable by death in Sudan, where Islamic Shariah laws were introduced in the 1980s, according to the AP.

Ibrahim, whose father is Muslim but mother is an Orthodox Christian, reportedly told the court that she was never Muslim and was raised Christian.

According to Amnesty International, a date for Ibrahim's execution has not been announced. "Sudan won't hang Meriam while she is pregnant," the organization wrote on its UK website. "The Criminal Code states that she must give birth first, and nurse her child for two years before her execution can go ahead."

Ibrahim has reportedly been held in prison for more than three months.

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