Sudanese woman sentenced to death for apostasy freed

A Sudanese court on Monday ordered the release of a 27-year-old woman who was sentenced to death last month for converting from Islam to Christianity, the state news agency said.

Meriam Ibrahim and her husband Daniel Wani
Meriam Ibrahim and her husband Daniel Wani

Sudan’s SUNA news agency said today: “The appeal court ordered the release of Mariam Yahya and the cancellation of the (previous) court ruling.”

“We are going to the prison now to find out more details,” said Elshareef Ali Mohammed, one of her lawyers. He told The Telegraph: “We heard it just now on the state radio. We really hope it’s true.”

Mr Elshareef said she could be released as soon as today – depending on the court order.

His team lodged an appeal with the Supreme Court on June 4.

The BBC reported that her lawyers confirmed her release from jail

The case of Mariam Yahya Ibrahim, who is married to a Christian American, triggered an international outcry. She gave birth to their baby daughter while in prison.

She was sentenced to death by a court in Khartoum on May 15 when she refused to recant her Christian beliefs. She said that she was never a Muslim, because her Muslim father abandoned the family when she was six years old and her Christian mother raised her in her own religion. But the court ruled that she had “abandoned” Islam – a crime punishable by death in Sudan.

Whilst in prison she gave birth to her second child – a baby girl named Maya. Both Maya and Martin, almost two, have been with their mother in prison since December.

Ms Ibrahim’s husband, Daniel Wani, an American citizen, was only allowed sporadic visits to his wife.

The case caused outrage around the world – especially when it was revealed that Ms Ibrahim had been forced to give birth with her legs shackled.

David Cameron, Tony Blair, John Kerry and Hillary Clinton all called for her release, and a petition to secure her freedom gathered over 700,000 signatures.