05/27/2014 12:05 pm ET Updated May 27, 2014

Meriam Yehya Ibrahim, Sudanese Women Sentenced To Death For 'Apostasy,' Gives Birth In Jail

A 27-year-old Sudanese woman who was sentenced to death for "apostasy" two weeks ago has given birth to a baby girl in prison, her lawyers announced on Tuesday.

A Sudanese court condemned Meriam Yehya Ibrahim to death by hanging earlier this month after the pregnant woman refused to renounce her Christian faith.

According to the Guardian, Ibrahim's daughter was born overnight in the Khartoum hospital clinic, a month before the due date. The newspaper said that the health conditions of mother and child remained unclear, as Ibrahim's lawyer and husband have not been allowed to see her.

When Ibrahim's husband Daniel Wani visited his wife in prison last week he found the expectant mother shackled in her cell, Fox News reported. Wani, who is a U.S. citizen and uses a wheelchair, is reportedly heavily dependent on his wife. The couple's other child, a 20-month-old boy, currently lives with his mother in prison.

Ibrahim was arrested in August after Muslim relatives charged her with adultery for marrying a Christian man, Bloomberg news explained. The apostasy charge was added after Ibrahim said she, too, was Christian.

Sudanese law prohibits marriage between a Muslim and non-Muslim and it is also illegal for Muslims to convert. Ibrahim is considered a Muslim under Sudanese law because her father was Muslim, however the woman says she was raised a Christian by her Ethiopian Orthodox mother after her father left the family when she was just a child.

Under Sudanese law, Ibrahim's execution must now be delayed for two years to allow her to nurse her newborn baby.

Ibrahim's lawyer is appealing the conviction, arguing that Sudan's constitution guarantees the right to choose one's religion. In practice, however, the country is one of the worst places in the world when it comes to religious freedom. The Associated Press notes that President Omar Bashir has vowed to impose stricter Islamic law after the mainly Christian south gained independence in 2011.



Tensions In Sudan