Meriam Ibrahim has not recanted Christian faith, says lawyer

Published 04 June 2014  |  
Gabriel Wani/Facebook
Meriam Yehya Ibrahim

A lawyer for Meriam Ibrahim has denied rumours that the mother of two has recanted her Christian faith behind bars.

The 27-year-old Sudanese Christian has been the centre of international attention recently after being sentenced to death for apostasy by a court in Sudan.

Ibrahim insists she has always been a Christian and therefore never committed apostasy, but Sudan says she is a Muslim because her father was.

She was pregnant at the time of sentencing and gave birth in her prison cell last month, delaying her execution by two years while she weans her baby.

Despite being given the opportunity to recant her faith in exchange for her freedom, she refused but the Sudanese authorities insist she has in fact renounced the Christian faith while in prison.

According to The Times, one of the five lawyers on Ibrahim's team, Al-Shareef Ali Mohammed says this is "not true".

As her lawyers appeal the sentence, Britain's international development secretary Justine Greening said Ibrahim has hit out at the death sentence.

She said Ibrahim should be released regardless of whether the appeal is still going through.

"The Sudanese government are now saying due process needs to be followed and an appeal will go through. Meriam should be released pending that appeal," Ms Greening said.

"She should be released full stop, but if the Sudanese government are saying that due process will happen, then she should be out of prison whilst that appeal takes place."

However, she defended Britain's decision to continue sending aid to Sudan despite the treatment of Ibrahim.

"Cutting aid will not help Meriam's family or the thousands of other vulnerable [people] that we give aid to in Sudan. None of our aid goes through the Sudanese government, but through tried and tested international agencies," she said.

"You don't improve people's human rights by taking away vital things they depend on, such as food, water, shelter and education.

"No one would say that we should stop helping people in Syria because of President Assad's regime. Sudan is no different. We are absolutely right to provide humanitarian support to the people of Sudan."

  • A protest will be held outside the Sudanese Embassy this Friday, 6 June, to call for Meriam Ibrahim's immediate release. 

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