17 May 2014

Sudan woman gets death sentence for apostasy


Excerpts:
A Sudanese judge has sentenced a Christian woman to hang for apostasy, despite appeals by Western embassies for compassion and respect for religious freedom. The case, thought to be the first of its kind to be heard in Sudan, involves a woman whose Christian name is Mariam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag. "We gave you three days to recant but you insist on not returning to Islam," Judge Abbas Mohammed Al-Khalifa told the woman on Thursday, addressing her by her father's Muslim name, Adraf Al-Hadi Mohammed Abdullah. "I sentence you to be hanged to death." Khalifa also sentenced Ishag to 100 lashes for "adultery".

Ishag, who rights activists say is pregnant and 27 years old, reacted without emotion when Abbas delivered the verdict at a court in the Khartoum district of Haj Yousef. Earlier in the hearing, an Islamic religious leader spoke with Ishag in the caged dock for about 30 minutes. Then she calmly told the judge: "I am a Christian and I never committed apostasy."

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