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Apostasy woman Meriam Ibrahim: Appeal hearings begin as release hopes dashed

Sudan's appeals court could be the last chance to save Meriam Ibrahim as she remains in prison awaiting the death sentence
  • @_andrew_griffin

Sudan’s appeals court is considering the case of Meriam Ibrahim, as she awaits the death sentence for apostasy despite assurances from the country’s government that she would be freed.

Daniel Wani, Ibrahim’s husband, was notified on Thursday that the appeals court is deliberating the case, he told CNN. If the sentence is not overturned, Ibrahim will be subjected to 100 lashes and hanged.

Only the appeals court will be able to overturn the ruling, Wani said, despite statements from the Sudanese government that Ibrahim would be freed. The appeal claims that the court that tried her committed procedural errors, her lawyer told Associated Press.

Last week, Sudanese officials suggested that Ibrahim would be freed “in a few days’ time”, but her lawyers have said that nothing has changed and the announcement was a response to the growing international campaign.

Wani, who is an American citizen, has asked US officials to expedite Ibrahim’s asylum process in case she is freed. Their family’s lives are likely to be under threat if they stay in Sudan if she is released, he said.

Meriam Ibrahim pictured in prison, where she gave birth to a daughter last month. Source: EPA

Ibrahim was sentenced to the death penalty in May after refusing to renounce her Christian faith during a four day ‘grace period’ when she was eight months pregnant. The 27-year-old doctor’s father was Muslim, but she was raised as a Christian by her mother.

The case has since sparked international condemnation. Pressure on Sudan has been growing since Ibrahim was forced to give birth in prison while restrained by shackles.