By Morning Star News
JUBA, South Sudan – A judge in Sudan today (May 15) confirmed the death sentence for “apostasy” (leaving Islam) for a pregnant Christian woman after she refused to recant, sources said.
After her conviction on April 30, Judge Abaas Al Khalifa had given Meriam Yahia Ibrahim 15 days to recant or be executed, with the ultimatum repeated at her hearing on Sunday (May 11). He also confirmed the sentence of 100 lashes for having sex with her husband, considered illicit in Islam because he is a Christian.
“The court has sentenced you to be hanged till you are dead,” Al Khalifa told Ibrahim, who also has a 20-month-old son, after Islamist crowds shouted for the court to punish her.
As other Sudanese convicted of leaving Islam have recanted their new faiths in order to avoid execution, the 27-year-old Ibrahim is the first person to be sentenced to death under Sudan’s apostasy law, according to Amnesty International.
Before the court appearance, a Muslim scholar went to Ibrahim – as has happened repeatedly since her incarceration without trial in February – and spent nearly 40 minutes trying to force her to recant, sources said. She told him what she told the judge.
“I am a Christian, and I have never been a Muslim,” she told Al Khalifa in court.