Minister of Justice
Mohamed Bushara Dousa
Ministry of Justice
P.O. Box 302
Al Nil Avenue, Khartoum
May 21, 2014
Your Excellency,It is with great concern that we petition the government of Sudan for the immediate and unconditional release of Meriam Yahia Ibrahim, a Christian mother eight months pregnant with her second child, who was sentenced to 100 lashes and death on charges of adultery and apostasy. Ibrahim was arrested by Sudan’s Public Order Police and arbitrarily detained in the Federal Women’s Prison in Omdurman on February 17, in violation of her constitutional and human rights, for practicing her Christian faith and marriage to her husband, Daniel Wani, a naturalized United States citizen.
On March 4, 15 days following her initial arrest and detention, the El Haj Yousif Public Order Court in Khartoum charged Ibrahim with adultery and apostasy.
On May 11, that same court convicted Ibrahim of both adultery and apostasy, granting her three days to publicly recant her faith and profess Islam in its place or face sentencing.
On May 15, Judge Abbas al-Khaleefa of the El Haj Yousif Public Order Court in Khartoum sentenced Ibrahim to 100 lashings following the birth of her second child and death by hanging two years following said birth, for violating Articles 144 - 45 of Sudan’s Public Order Criminal Code. The sentencing was handed down following a representative of the Sudan Fatwa Council’s public pressuring of Meriam to recant her faith, to which she responded, “I am a Christian, and I will remain a Christian.”
Sudanese police barred Wani, who is confined to a wheelchair, from entering the courtroom. An appeal for his admittance placed before Judge al-Khaleefa by defense lawyer Mohamed Jar Elnabi was denied.
Judge al-Khaleefa provided Meriam’s legal defense team 15 days to appeal the decision.
Ibrahim, born to a Muslim father who abandoned her and her mother at age six, was raised an Orthodox Christian in Western Sudan. A graduate of the University of Khartoum, where she studied to become a medical doctor, Ibrahim is not only a medical professional, but a loving mother and faithful wife.
According to her legal defense team, Ibrahim has been physically abused by prison officials, denied critical medical treatment, and repeatedly pressured to convert to Islam.
No individual should ever be forced to suffer arrest and arbitrary detention for the expression of his or her faith. Nor should any individual ever be physically abused, denied critical medical treatment, subjected to state - sponsored pressure to recant their expressed faith, or be sentenced to death for the expression of that faith. [Of course, they're talking about worldly governments and what constitutes "reasonable" expressions. It is only with that in mine that I added my name.]
Your Excellency, the signers of this petition urge the government of Sudan, in the strongest possible terms, to: immediately and unconditionally release Meriam Yahia Ibrahim; provide her and her children with proper medical care; and ensure her access to a private medical center for the birth of her second child. We eagerly anticipate your timely response to this urgent matter.
International Christian Concern (and attached)