Pregnant Sudan Christian Mother Sentenced to Hang to Death

Joanne  Moudy

A 27-year-old pregnant Sudanese mother was sentenced to death by hanging for being a Christian, but not until after she receives a flogging of 100 lashes for committing adultery (with her Christian husband).

Dr. Meriam Yahwa Ibrahim Ishag  was accused of apostasy and adultery earlier this year. According to Reuters,  she was arrested and imprisoned in February, along with her 20 month-old son. She was formally charged by the Sudanese government on March 4th. Following her brief trial, she was found guilty of the charges and convicted on May 11th – Mother’s Day. The court gave her three days to recant her faith and proclaim herself a Muslim.

Congressman Trent Franks,  AZ-8, had this to say after the sentencing today:

“We have learned that Meriam Yahia Ibraham Ishag – a Sudanese Christian woman – has been sentenced to death by hanging after being accused of apostasy by a court that gave her ‘three days to recant’ and ‘return to Islam.’ Ms. Ishag, who is married to an American citizen, was raised as an Orthodox Christian by her mother, thus making a ‘return’ to Islam fundamentally impossible. She is also eight months pregnant.

“Such blatant disregard for the value of human life – and religious freedom – is an indescribable disgrace. I urge the U.S. State Department to immediately step in on Ms. Ishag’s behalf and to articulate conclusively that such blatant abrogation of the most basic human rights will be taken extremely seriously, and that Sudan is expected to fulfill its sworn obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.”

Although Meriam’s biological father was a Muslim, he deserted the family when Meriam was a mere six years old. She was raised by her mother.

Meriam finished college and then medical school and then married Wani, a Christian man from South Sudan, who happens to be an American Citizen. The couple has a 20 month-old son and Meriam is now eight months pregnant with their second child.

South Sudan is predominantly Christian and when the region seceded from Sudan in 2011, the Sudan government made it clear they would move forward with a 100% Islamic constitution and enforce Shari’a law. However, the new constitution has not yet been ratified.

According to Wani, last August someone posing as a relative reported Meriam in to the authorities for being a ‘Muslim who converted to Christianity.’ According to Shari’a law, any child born to a Muslim father must be brought up a Muslim. Anyone found guilty of converting from Islam to any other religion is guilty of apostasy and subject to the death penalty. Since Shari’a law does not recognize a Muslim woman’s marriage to anyone outside of Islam, the Sudan’s court also found Meriam guilty of adultery.

Wani further stated to Morning Star News  that during the time Meriam has been incarcerated she has been beaten, personally abused, starved, and refused all medical treatment. There is concern the son will be executed as well.

This morning when Meriam was hauled into the district court in Khartoum for sentencing, she was placed in a cage and ‘counseled’ by Muslim religious leaders for thirty minutes. The court refused to use Meriam’s name, instead referring to her only by her father’s Muslim name of Adraf Al-Hadi Mohammed Abdullah.

According to Al-Jazeera , at the end of the 30 minutes, Judge Abbas Mohammed Al-Khalifa asked her what she had decided. Meriam calmly stated, “I am a Christian and I never committed apostasy.”

Judge Abbas then sentenced her to a severe flogging for adultery, followed with death by hanging. Al-Shareef Ali al-Shareef Mohammed, Meriam’s attorney, did state they will appeal the sentencing within the next 15 days.

Manar Idriss, Amnesty International’s Sudan researcher said, “The fact that a woman has been sentenced to death for her religious choice, and to flogging for being married to a man of an allegedly different religion is appalling and abhorrent. Adultery and apostasy are acts which should not be considered crimes at all. It is flagrant breach of international human rights law.”

Even though Wani is a U.S. Citizen, he is being denied custody of his son and the child about to be born. The court has ignored the couple’s legal marriage certificate as well as the son’s legal birth certificate and claim that the only proof acceptable would be a positive DNA test – but that must be completed in the U.S. Such a test would require an inordinate amount of time, which neither Meriam nor her children have.

There is speculation that Meriam will be kept alive until her baby is born, but the fate of the child is unknown.

Chief Master Sergeant (Ret) Chuck Wooten who is running for U.S. Congress in AZ-2 issued this statement:

“I am deeply saddened and outraged upon learning that Meriam was sentenced to death. Most especially when no crime was committed. Again, we must rely on the U.S. State Department to become engaged with the global community to mitigate this tragedy and to common citizens, it appears inaction has once again paralyzed the Department. There is a peaceful solution to destroying Meriam’s precious life, while she is carrying another precious life. Our diplomats should have already sprung into action to preclude further bloodshed in Sudan. I’m praying fervently for Meriam, her husband and her children this situation is swiftly and mercifully resolved.”

25 responses to “Pregnant Sudan Christian Mother Sentenced to Hang to Death

  1. It is wonderful that this woman and her family are free of this idiocracy and death. I still can’t understand why people feel that all countries on this planet need to be one religion.

  2. This situation is extremely awful, especially the fact that she has no freedom of choice! I would not know what to do if I were in her shoes, especially if this situation is being taken to its worst matters. I hope that people do not have to ever go through something as inhuman as this.

    • Fortunately with the help of Fox News, Meghan Kelly, An American Freedom of Religion Group, Pope Francis, and the Italian government, the woman was flown to Rome with her two children and will be joining her husband in the United States. This goes to show that if Christian yell out, they can be heard.

  3. It is sad to see that in some areas people do not have the same rights and freedoms as we do. Having someone killed for being in a certain religion is taboo in America meaning it just doesn’t happen, let alone be written into a “ratified” constitution. She should be freed and live in America because her husband is an American citizen.

  4. It’s shocking to see that people can discriminate just based on an individuals religious beliefs and how far they are willing to take it.

  5. This is an outrage because no crimes were committed only to those in the eyes of the people who live in Sudan. It’s really dramatic when a law hasn’t even ratified and they already want to make someone a victim.

  6. This is an outrage because no crimes were committed only to those in the eyes of the people who live in Sudan. It’s really dramatic when a law hasn’t even ratified and they already want to make someone a victim. It’s a crime to discriminate based on religious belief and that’s truly unfair.

  7. This is not right how an individual can be hung for making a simple mistake. I’m glad you informed us with an update about what happened. I’m glad this lady was let go and given a second chance in life. We all make mistakes but we should learn from them.

  8. This is a pretty crazy story that can be common for those parts of the world. They all hate Christians and they kill them as soon as they find out who the Christians are. Im glad that the American people spoke up so that the government let them go.

  9. Update!!!

    This Christian woman was released from prison and taken to the American Embassy so she and her American husband and American children could return to the United States. American citizens made so much noise over the pending execution that the nation of Sudan decided to let her go.

  10. This is very inhumain. Not only do they want to hang a woman for slleping with her husband and her relgious upbringing but, they also want to kill the children to; they have no hearts. It’s amazing to read about news like this for the simple reason i could never imagine this happening to me. Part of that is because i have so many rights that i neglect to realise that so many people die iver what i feel is my natural born rights. It is so sad to read this. My heart truly breaks for that man.

  11. This is very disgusting! This woman is pregnant, they would not only be taking one life but two. I am so glad that America has freedom of religion, we should be very thankful for the freedom we have. I think we should try to do something about this unbelievable act.

  12. People around the United States are unaware of how good we have it here. This story is disturbing and cruel. I do not understand hpw people could do that to one of their own. People need to mind their own business and not get involved in other people’s affairs.

  13. Merriam’s story is so horrific I wouldn’t want anyone to go through this. I would say that many American citizens do not realize how blessed we are to have the rights we do. Merriam didn’t even have our first amendment granted to her. She did not have a say of what religion she wanted to believe in and it saddens me that they may kill her and her two children. If they must kill her because she supposedly committed adultery they should try to prove that the children are her husband’s through a DNA test, so that they may live. This is just outrageous.

  14. Wow this should not be happening to this poor woman. This whole situation is inhumane and unfair. It’s crazy to know that nonsense like this is still going on in the world over religion.This woman did not committ a crime, just has her own beliefs like everyone has.

  15. This is so appalling and sickening, wow. As stated in other comments, it is incredibly inhumane. Actions like this should never happen, this women did not commit any crime and should have never been sentenced to death. This violates her religious rights, they should be respected. Some people are just so cruel, it’s so sick!

  16. We complain about such minor things in the United States, while nonsense like this still occurs in other places all over the world. It is unfair that this woman was killed for something so minor, i mean it’s sad that religious beliefs are still in this serious of a struggle.

  17. Inhumane actions and definitely should be viewed from other viewpoints to get a better understanding. This type of atrocity should never be implemented.

  18. This is so hateful, it is a pure shame that one human being can be that cruel to another. She did not commit a crime nor did her child she was carrying. The US definitely needs to take action.

  19. This is definitely unfair. Things like this should not be happening in the world we live in today. I believe this is inhuman and just something that should be eliminated.

  20. This is honestly sad, its hard to believe that things still happen like this in the world we live in today. It is also sad to know that others can be so enraged about what others are doing when they should just mind their own business.

  21. It is absolutely horrifying to know that such barbarism still occurs throughout the world. This is just one case that we know of. For all we may know, there are hundreds of people who have been sentenced and executed in the same manner but we just have no way of knowing. I just read on BBC yesterday that an official stated that Dr. Meriam Yahwa Ibrahim Ishag will be set free in a few days due to international outrage and pressure and I sincerely hope she will be.

  22. The U.S. should be working to resolve this issue as fast as possible to save Meriam’s life as well as the child she is pregnant with and help free her 20 month old child as well. I find this more of a execution than a actual trial and I hope injustice does not win out at the end of the day. This whole situation is inhumane, but I do find some comfort in the fact that she continues to stand for her beliefs despite her circumstances.

  23. This is unfair, and the U.S. should be working to resolve this as fast as possible. I find this more of a execution than a actual trial and I hope injustice does not win out at the end of the day. I find this whole situation inhumane, but I find some comfort in the fact that she continues to stand in her beliefs despite her circumstances .

  24. It is such an awful thing to think that this could happen. The UN definitely should step in. If the DNA test is the only way to prove the legitimacy of the children the US should put a rush on this and have it done ASAP to at least be able to save the children if all else fails. Funny how laws can be made, such as an Islamic Constituition to enforce Shari’a Law to make south Sudan 100% Muslim yet the new Constituition has not been ratified. Seems a little unfair to charge someone when it is not Been made official yet.

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