Sudanese Government Denies Imprisoned Pregnant Woman to be Freed
The Sudanese government denied allegations that it would free a pregnant Christian woman set to be hanged for apostasy, stating that hints suggesting her freedom were misconstrued.
“[I am] not aware that any release is imminent,” Abu Bakr al-Sideeg, spokesman for the Sudanese foreign ministry, stated Sunday.
Meriam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag was sentenced to death on May 15, in accordance with Sharia law. Sharia law outlaws Muslim women marrying non-Muslim men - and outlaws conversion under pain of death. Ishag, who has refused to renounce her faith, also gave birth to a baby girl Tuesday.
Ishag's husband, US citizen Daniel Wani, also denied that her release was imminent.
“No Sudanese or foreign mediator contacted me. Maybe there are contacts between the Sudanese government and foreign sides that I’m not aware of,” Wani told BBC. “As far as I’m concerned I will wait for the appeal which my lawyer submitted and I hope that my wife will be released.”
Manar Idriss, Sudan researcher for Amnesty International, reiterated that reports of a release remain unconfirmed.
“We’ve received no confirmation that Meriam is going to be released and the appeal court has yet to issue any such ruling confirming a release," she said.
Ishag was born to a Muslim father, but has insisted that she herself is not guilty of "apostasy," as she is not Muslim.
According to the British Telegraph, she even produced a marriage certificate as evidence that she had not committed adultery, and called three witnesses from her home town to testify of her lifelong adherence to Christianity.
Sharia court ultimately disagreed, and sentenced her to death and 100 lashes for "adultery." The death sentence is not due to be carried out until 2016.