Sudanese Christian Sentenced to Death For Apostasy Reportedly Set Free

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Meriam Yahya Ibrahim, the Sudanese woman who was sentenced to death for being a Christian, has reportedly been released from prison following  appeals court, according Sudanese state media. Ibrahim, 27, was told that she must denounce her faith back in May after her brother filed a complaint against her. The harsh decision prompted an international outcry, including condemnations from Hillary Clinton, United Kingdom Prime Minister David Cameron, and Secretary of State John Kerry.

As CNN’s Nima Elbagir reports, Ibrahim was reunited with Daniel Wani, her husband, after being released from custody. Her lawyer, Mohaned Mustafa El-Nour, said that the appeals court found the initial judgment against her faulty. Another lawyer, Elshareef Ali Mohammed, told The Telegraph, "We heard it just now on the state radio. We really hope it's true," and also said he was going to the prison to find more details. 

According to The Telegraph's Harriet Alexander, Sudan's SUNA news agency published the following statement on her release:

The appeal court ordered the release of Meriam Yahya Ibrahim and the cancellation of the (previous) court ruling."

Eight months pregnant during her trial, Ibrahim was sentenced to death by hanging; in addition, she was convicted of adultery and sentenced to 100 lashes. Her mother was an Ethiopian Orthodox Christian and her father a Sudanese Muslim, but after he left when she was six-years-old, Ibrahim was raised a Christian. Sudan’s severe apostasy laws make it illegal to convert from Islam, and because her father was a Muslim, “the courts considered her one too,” making her marriage to Wani, a non-Muslim, void.

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Wani, a U.S. citizen, is in a wheelchair and entirely dependent on Ibrahim for "all details of his life," according to CNN. Ibrahim gave birth to a daughter, Maya, while in prison, and was held in a women’s facility with her other child, 20-month-old Martin. She was, however, forced to give birth with her legs shackled, according to a report by Alexander.

Her lawyer told Reuters that she has been taken to a safe house because she still fears for her safety.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.