Sudanese official says captive Christian woman Meriam Ibrahim to be freed

Great news, if the BBC report holds up: Meriam Ibrahim, the Christian woman sentenced to be whipped and hanged for “apostasy” because her father was Muslim, is going to escape the noose.  

As I mentioned on Friday, Ibrahim is the wife of U.S. citizen Daniel Wani, but the hapless and inert U.S. government appears to have played little role in saving her life.  The BBC says it was more about international condemnation and action by the British government:

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

Khartoum has been facing international condemnation over the death sentence.

In an interview with The Times newspaper, British Prime Minister David Cameron described the ruling as “barbaric” and out of step with today’s world.

The UK Foreign Office this week said that it would push for Ms Ibrahim to be released on humanitarian grounds.

Thanks for nothing, President Obama.  Head back to the golf course and your fundraisers, the Brits have got this.

Ms Ibrahim, 27, was brought up as an Orthodox Christian, but a Sudanese judge ruled earlier this month that she should be regarded as Muslim because that had been her father’s faith.

She refused to renounce her Christianity and was sentenced to death by hanging for apostasy.

On Wednesday, she gave birth to a daughter in her prison cell – the second child from her marriage in 2011 to Daniel Wani, a US citizen.

The court said Ms Ibrahim would be allowed to nurse her baby for two years before the sentence was carried out.

The court had earlier annulled her Christian marriage and sentenced her to 100 lashes for adultery because the union was not considered valid under Islamic law.

Sudan has a majority Muslim population and Islamic law has been in force there since the 1980s.

The ruling has revived a debate over apostasy, with liberal and conservative scholars giving different opinions over whether – and how – the act of abandoning the Islamic faith should be punished.

Too bad we don’t have the kind of international leadership or prestige to give the barbarians a decisive answer to that question, at least with respect to U.S. citizens, their wives, and their children.  Now let’s just hope this Sudanese official isn’t just blowing smoke, and Meriam and her children are reunited with Daniel in a few days as promised.

If any British citizens happen to be reading this, could you ask your government if they could do something for Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, who seems to have been abandoned by his government to a dungeon in Mexico?  The petition to get President Obama to help him is up over 110,000 signatures, according to CNN, but so far it hasn’t gotten him anything except an ineffectual phone call from doltish Secretary of State John Kerry.


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