Help Free Meriam Ibrahim, Young Mother Sentenced to Death for Apostasy in Sudan
May 30, 2014
Earlier this month, a Sudanese court sentenced Meriam Yeyha Ibrahim Ishag, a 27-year-old Christian woman, to 100 lashes and death by hanging for leaving Islam and marrying a Christian man. At the time of sentencing she was eight months pregnant, and now is caring for her two young children while imprisoned.
As the Center for Inquiry (CFI) noted in a letter to the Sudanese ambassador to the United Nations, this sentence is an outrage. Meriam is being punished simply for marrying a man who belongs to a religion different than that of her father, and practicing Christianity instead of Islam—both of which are universally protected human rights.
That’s why we are glad to learn Rep. Trent Franks (R-Arizona) has proposed a resolution, H.Res. 601, that urges Sudan to immediately release Meriam and drop all charges against her. Franks’ resolution also presses the U.S. Departments of State and Homeland Security to prioritize working for Meriam’s freedom and granting her asylum or refugee status, as appropriate.
Since being jailed, Meriam has been forced to deliver her baby in prison, reportedly with her feet shackled. To make matters worse, her other child, who is 20 months old, is also in prison with her, as the Sudanese government will not release the boy to Meriam’s Christian husband, who is a U.S. citizen.
CFI holds that no person should face social or legal punishment simply for believing in a religion, leaving one religion for another, or leaving religions altogether. Meriam should be freed and her family should be reunited in the United States as soon as possible.