Sudan frees woman sentenced to hang for 'converting'


A Sudanese woman who was sentenced to death on May 15 for apostasy has been freed, one of her lawyers said on Monday. Meriam Yahia Ibrahim gave birth to a baby girl while in prison late last month.


A Sudanese court sentenced Ibrahim to hang for abandoning the Muslim faith of her father, despite having been raised solely by her Christian mother and identifying herself as a Christian.

"Meriam was released just about an hour ago," Mohanad Mustafa told AFP.

Under sharia law, which has been in force in Sudan since 1983, conversions are punishable by death. A Muslim woman also cannot marry a non-Muslim man and any such relationship is regarded as adulterous.

"I am a Christian and I never committed apostasy," she told the judge at her sentencing.

Ibrahim's husband Daniel Wani, a Christian and a US citizen, has also said that Ibrahim identifies as a Christian and was never Muslim, and therefore could not have abandoned the faith.

The court gave her three days to "recant" after her trial but sentenced her to death when she refused.

It also ordered her Christian marriage to be annulled and sentenced her to 100 lashes for adultery.

Ibrahim's case sparked international condemnation, with British Prime Minister David Cameron denouncing the "barbaric" sentence.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morning