Sudan death row woman 'to be freed'

Romsey Advertiser: David Cameron called for the release of a woman on death row in Sudan David Cameron called for the release of a woman on death row in Sudan

A woman sentenced to death in Sudan after marrying a Christian could be released within days, according to reports.

A senior Khartoum official has told the BBC that Meriam Ibrahim will be freed following worldwide protests about her treatment.

David Cameron has joined Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg and Tony Blair in condemning the "barbaric" punishment of the 27-year-old, who gave birth to a daughter this week while shackled in her cell.

Ms Ibrahim was raised a Christian by her mother and has refused to renounce the faith.

However, a court ruled earlier this month that she is Muslim because that was her father's faith.

Her Christian marriage was annulled and she was sentenced to 100 lashes for adultery and death by hanging for renouncing Islam.

Sex outside a "lawful relationship" is regarded as adultery under Sudanese law.

Abdullahi Alzareg, an under-secretary at the foreign ministry, told the BBC Sudan guaranteed religious freedom and was committed to protecting the woman.

Mr Cameron said he was "absolutely appalled" when he heard about the plight of the 27-year-old.

"The way she is being treated is barbaric and has no place in today's world," he told The Times.

"Religious freedom is an absolute, fundamental human right.

"I urge the government of Sudan to overturn the sentence and immediately provide appropriate support and medical care for her and her children.

"The UK will continue to press the government of Sudan to act."

Labour leader Ed Miliband said: "The conviction and incarceration of Meriam Ibrahim is utterly appalling and an abhorrent abuse of her human rights.

"Nobody should be persecuted because of the religion they practice or the person they fall in love with.

"I cannot imagine the suffering - both physical and emotional - that Meriam, her husband and their two young children must be going through.

"The Labour Party has already asked British ministers to apply pressure to the Sudanese government to ensure her release. The British Government will have our full support in their attempts to resolve this matter.

"Regrettably, this is one of many examples across the world of Christians being persecuted for their faith. The international community must come together to end this worrying trend."

Former PM Mr Blair described the case as a "brutal and sickening distortion of faith".

Conservative North Somerset MP Liam Fox, the former defence secretary and shadow foreign secretary, said the Government needed to think again about aid.

"Religious tolerance is something that the UK should be promoting at every opportunity," he said.

"We need to ask ourselves whether it is acceptable too be giving taxpayers' money in aid to states which allow treatment such as that handed out to Meriam Ibrahim."

Mrs Ibrahim's husband Daniel Wani said his son has become sullen and withdrawn since being incarcerated with his mother.

He added that his wife was under pressure to convert her religion so she can leave prison but said she was "committed" to her right to religious freedom.

A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: "We are aware of and urgently seeking clarification from the Sudanese authorities of reports that Meriam Ibrahim, the mother facing the death penalty in Sudan, is to be freed.

"We have been strongly urging the Government of the Republic of Sudan to do all it can to overturn its decision to sentence her to death."

International Development Secretary Justine Greening said: "It is totally perverse to claim protecting Sudanese women means taking away UK-funded food, water, medication, shelter and schooling from hundreds of thousands of women, girls and babies affected by the suffering in Darfur.

"British aid to Sudan only goes on helping the very poorest Sudanese people via the UN and NGOs, and not a penny is given to the Sudanese government.

"Withdrawing support from thousands of Sudanese families, many also with small children, would only compound this terrible situation. That cannot be right."

Comments (5)

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12:23pm Sat 31 May 14

Viva Trowvegas says...

No, religious tolerance is not something we should be promoting at every opportunity. Otherwise we are allowing the backwards ancient cults that run these countries to carry on doing things like this.

Get real, Bliar. Your opinion counts for nothing because you are the same as them. As for Cameron and Fox, wake up and smell the coffee...
No, religious tolerance is not something we should be promoting at every opportunity. Otherwise we are allowing the backwards ancient cults that run these countries to carry on doing things like this. Get real, Bliar. Your opinion counts for nothing because you are the same as them. As for Cameron and Fox, wake up and smell the coffee... Viva Trowvegas
  • Score: -1

1:30pm Sat 31 May 14

whatever66 says...

Maybe the Sudan can do us a favour and out Cameron and clegg permantly and maybe we can get the great back in britian.
Maybe the Sudan can do us a favour and out Cameron and clegg permantly and maybe we can get the great back in britian. whatever66
  • Score: 0

1:52pm Sat 31 May 14

welshmen says...

Can't say anything bad about the Religion of Peace, they Phobia you, they report you for posting even the truth, yet they are very quiet over this, not one of their British Muslim Councils has had the Courage to say anything against their Muslim Brothers who past down this Barbaric sentence, are their two separate Qur'an? this is what we hear, "this is not the way to interpret our Qur'an" lets hear off you Muslims that read my comments, your quick enough to get in touch with the Media when an Alleged stone go's through one of your Mosque's windows, you seem to care more about that than this report of this Barbaric Sharia Law in Iran.

This Law was supported by 40% of Muslims in the UK, when asked in an Opinion Poll by the Sunday Telegraph, four out of 10 British Muslims want sharia law introduced into parts of the country, the ICM opinion poll also indicates that a fifth have sympathy with the "feelings and motives" of the suicide bombers who attacked London killing 52 peolpe and injuring hundreds.

I and others would like to know your thoughts on here (Muslims), not to get your Brothers to thumb me down as usual....or Complain to the Argus... It's well over time for the British people to LOOK and see what's happening to their Country.... Truth beats the devil every time....
Can't say anything bad about the Religion of Peace, they Phobia you, they report you for posting even the truth, yet they are very quiet over this, not one of their British Muslim Councils has had the Courage to say anything against their Muslim Brothers who past down this Barbaric sentence, are their two separate Qur'an? this is what we hear, "this is not the way to interpret our Qur'an" lets hear off you Muslims that read my comments, your quick enough to get in touch with the Media when an Alleged stone go's through one of your Mosque's windows, you seem to care more about that than this report of this Barbaric Sharia Law in Iran. This Law was supported by 40% of Muslims in the UK, when asked in an Opinion Poll by the Sunday Telegraph, four out of 10 British Muslims want sharia law introduced into parts of the country, the ICM opinion poll also indicates that a fifth have sympathy with the "feelings and motives" of the suicide bombers who attacked London killing 52 peolpe and injuring hundreds. I and others would like to know your thoughts on here (Muslims), not to get your Brothers to thumb me down as usual....or Complain to the Argus... It's well over time for the British people to LOOK and see what's happening to their Country.... Truth beats the devil every time.... welshmen
  • Score: 6

7:16pm Sat 31 May 14

Katie Re-Registered says...

""Religious freedom is an absolute, fundamental human right."...says Cameron.

However, isn't it also "an absolute, fundamental human right" to have the freedom to reject religion altogether? I also wonder if politicians would be falling over themselves in archetypal strictly come grandstanding mode if Ms Ibrahim had been sentenced to death for marrying an atheist...or even (since Cameron claims to believe in religious freedom as an absolute, fundamental human right) if her fiancée had been a Satanist - as Satanism is also a religion, don'tcha know;)?

One thing's for sure though; since not one Tory or Ukip MP signed the EU guarantee of LGBTQ human rights the other day, Cameron obviously doesn't similarly believe that a person's sexuality or gender identity is "an absolute, fundamental human right", does he?
""Religious freedom is an absolute, fundamental human right."...says Cameron. However, isn't it also "an absolute, fundamental human right" to have the freedom to reject religion altogether? I also wonder if politicians would be falling over themselves in archetypal strictly come grandstanding mode if Ms Ibrahim had been sentenced to death for marrying an atheist...or even (since Cameron claims to believe in religious freedom as an absolute, fundamental human right) if her fiancée had been a Satanist - as Satanism is also a religion, don'tcha know;)? One thing's for sure though; since not one Tory or Ukip MP signed the EU guarantee of LGBTQ human rights the other day, Cameron obviously doesn't similarly believe that a person's sexuality or gender identity is "an absolute, fundamental human right", does he? Katie Re-Registered
  • Score: -3

5:25pm Sun 1 Jun 14

DJFearRoss says...

This punishment for leaving Islam for Christianity is every Islamic State is death. Look on Youtube and you will find many videos of Christians being beheaded. The only reason this made the news is because on of them is a US citizen. How sad is that?

How do the liberals justify this? Tell us it is nothing to do with Islam? Imagine the International condemnation if these were Christians beheading a Muslim.
This punishment for leaving Islam for Christianity is every Islamic State is death. Look on Youtube and you will find many videos of Christians being beheaded. The only reason this made the news is because on of them is a US citizen. How sad is that? How do the liberals justify this? Tell us it is nothing to do with Islam? Imagine the International condemnation if these were Christians beheading a Muslim. DJFearRoss
  • Score: 2
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