(CAP) Sudan death sentence woman ‘freed’

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Sudan death sentence woman ‘freed’

Meriam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag, a 27-year-old Sudanese woman sentenced to hang for apostasyMeriam Ibrahim gave birth to a baby daughter in prison

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A Sudanese woman sentenced to death for abandoning her Islamic faith has been freed from jail, her lawyer has told the BBC.

Meriam Ibrahim’s death penalty was overturned by an appeal court, the official Suna news agency reported.

She is married to a Christian man and was sentenced under Sharia law to hang for apostasy in May after refusing to renounce Christianity.

Her husband, Daniel Wani, said he was looking forward to seeing her.

He wanted his family to leave Sudan as soon possible, Mr Wani told BBC Focus on Africa.

L: Daniel Wani with his daughter R: David Wani with this sonDaniel Wani visited his children at the prison near Khartoum
Meriam Ibrahim and her husband, Daniel WaniThe couple got married in a church after meeting in 2011

The death sentence for Meriam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag, who gave birth to a daughter in prison not long after she was convicted, sparked international outrage.

“We are very very happy about this – and we’re going to her now,” Ms Ibrahim’s lawyer Elshareef Ali told BBC Focus on Africa.

“They have released her… she’s on her way to home,” he said.

Mr Ali said Ms Ibrahim had shown “extraordinary courage” during her ordeal.

“It’s a victory for freedom of religion in Sudan… By Mariam’s strong position, we believe that in the future no-one will be subjected to such a trial,” he said.

Born to a Muslim father, Ms Ibrahim, 27, married Mr Wani, a Christian, in 2011.

She has been in jail since February, along with her young son.

Mr Ali said he had not yet seen the appeal court’s judgement, and had learned about the verdict through the media.

Sudan has a majority Muslim population. Islamic law has been in force there since the 1980s.

Even though Ms Ibrahim was brought up as an Orthodox Christian, the authorities consider her to be a Muslim.

Her husband, who was born in South Sudan before it became independent from Sudan, went to the US in 1998 at the height of the civil war.

He met Ms Ibrahim in 2011 on a visit to Sudan and they were married at the main church in Khartoum.

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