Title: An Urgent Mother's Day Appeal for Action from Sudan: Mary and Her Unborn Child Sentenced to Floggi
Author: اخبار سودانيزاونلاين
Date: 05-14-2014, 05:37 AM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Email: [email protected]
An Urgent Mother's Day Appeal for Action from Sudan: Mary and Her Unborn Child Sentenced to Flogging and Death for Apostasy
On Sunday, May 11th, as Americans were celebrating Mother's Day, Mariem Yahia Ibrahim was sentenced to death for apostasy. Meriam's husband Daniel B Wani is an American citizen from New Hampshire. She is eight months pregnant and imprisoned with their 2 year old son, Martin.
Her husband, Daniel, spoke with us to say, "We need the U.S. and others to pressure the Government of Sudan to release my wife and son and cancel the charges against her. Please help us."
Sudan is one of the most oppressive countries in the world – and Mary's case illustrates just how unjust the government is: Mary was raised a Christian and married a Christian man from South Sudan who also holds American citizenship. She is pregnant with their second child.
Last summer, a distant relative accused her of adultery because her father is Muslim and, under Sudanese law, she is not permitted to marry a Christian, so her children are illegitimate. The courts agreed and now she faces 100 lashes for adultery -- but it gets worse!
Mary tried to tell the court that she is a Christian and her marriage was valid, but then the court called her an apostate. She was condemned to death unless she recants her faith by May 15th.
"In less than three days this young pregnant woman will have to decide whether she will recant her beliefs or face flogging and death -- along with her unborn child," says Hardwired's executive director, Tina Ramirez.
According to our Sudanese legal partner, Safwan Abdalmoniem, "Even if she is able to appeal the judgement, she will remain imprisoned and the case could take a very long time. She is having complications with her pregnancy and the courts refused to let her go to the hospital."
Abdalmoniem continued to say, "Sudanese law has criminal punishments for adultery and apostasy - but at the root of the problem is President Bashir's policies of religious oppression. The people of Sudan need religious freedom."
Sudan has been ruled by a hardline Islamist regime since a 1989 coup brought to power Omar Hassan Al-Bashir, now an indicted war criminal for crimes against his own people. Although Sudan has a long history of religious tolerance, the regime’s strict enforcement of Islamic law throughout the country and years of civil war have made religious oppression a daily reality for Sudanese of all beliefs.
According to Ramirez, "The Sudanese people now have a momentous opportunity to adopt a new constitution that includes religious freedom. Mary's case shows just how important this right is."
Abdalmoniem shared, "There are many cases like Mary's. Most are eventually overturned after the victim recants - but why should someone be oppressed for what they believe?"
"It is unclear how the court will respond on May 15th when Mary decides not to recant - or how her appeal will go. We also don't know when the government will end all discussion of a new constitution, but we are working to build greater support for religious freedom while we can," said Ramirez.
But according to Abdalmoniem, "The Sudanese government is growing fearful of any opposition to its oppressive policies, but we can build the support needed to defend Mary and enshrine religious freedom in the country’s constitution if we stand together."
About Hardwired: Hardwired is a non-profit organization working to end religious oppression worldwide. Training advocates to defend their rights under international human rights law and utilize social networks to mobilize public support in otherwise closed countries is Hardwired’s mission. To learn more, please visit us at www.hardwiredglobal.org.
To speak with someone about the case in Arabic or English, please call Safwan Abdalmoniem at 804-869-7466. More facts on the case are below.
Bring Freedom to Mary and the People of Sudan
Will you call for Mary's immediate and unconditional release and call for religious freedom in the new constitution?
- Mariem Yahia Ibrahim, age 27, eight and a half months pregnant, is imprisoned with her son, Martin in Umderman Prison in Khartoum, Sudan.
- She was sentenced on Sunday, May 11th, under Article 126 for apostasy and under Article 146 for adultery under the Sudanese criminal law of 1991.
- The court is holding Mareim until May 15th when she will have an opportunity to "recant" her Christian faith so she can be released.
- Her husband is Daniel B. Wani, a Christian and an American citizen originally from South Sudan. They were married December 19, 2011.
- Daniel began the process to apply for a visa for his wife to return to the US with him following their marriage.
- Mariem's mother is an Orthodox Christian from Ethiopia and her father is a Muslim from Sudan; she was raised by her mother in Sudan.
- Mariem's case was originally taken by the morality police before the Public Order Court in mid-2013 for adultery but then referred to the Criminal Court in al-Haj Yousif in Khartoum Bahri where she was sentenced by Judge Abbas Al Khalifa.
- Mariem's lawyer, Mohammed Abdelnabi, has requested that she be transferred to a hospital for treatment of complications related to her labor, but they have refused and the National Security visit her often to harass her to recant her faith.