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Thread: Sudanese Woman to be Freed

  1. #1
    Senior Contributor Bigfella's Avatar
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    Sudanese Woman to be Freed

    Rather than revive the putrid disgrace of a thread where this was last discussed I thought I'd start again. Hoping we can keep it civil this time.

    When I heard that Meriam Ibrahim was going to be given 2 years to nurse here baby rather than being executed shortly after the birth I wondered if something might not be in the works.

    Hard to know quite what has brought this about, but there has been international pressure from a wide range of sources. Good news.

    Sudanese authorities are to free a woman who was sentenced to death for having abandoned the Islamic faith, a foreign ministry official says.

    Meriam Ibrahim, who gave birth to a daughter in custody, will be freed in a few days, the official told the BBC.

    Abdullahi Alzareg, an under-secretary at the foreign ministry, said Sudan guaranteed religious freedom and was committed to protecting the woman.

    Khartoum has been facing international condemnation over the death sentence.

    In an interview with The Times newspaper, British Prime Minister David Cameron described the ruling as "barbaric" and out of step with today's world.

    The UK Foreign Office this week said that it would push for Ms Ibrahim to be released on humanitarian grounds.....

    On Wednesday, she gave birth to a daughter in her prison cell - the second child from her marriage in 2011 to Daniel Wani, a US citizen.

    The court said Ms Ibrahim would be allowed to nurse her baby for two years before the sentence was carried out.
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-27651483
    Last edited by Bigfella; 01 Jun 14, at 09:52.


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  2. #2
    Senior Contributor Bigfella's Avatar
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    This story is a day old, but still relevant. I did wonder what might be going on behind the scenes. Don't know if US pressure had an impact, but I don't doubt it was considerable.

    Despite Sudan's promise to 'protect' Meriam Ibrahim's freedom once she is released, I suspect she will head for the US as quickly as she can.

    American diplomats are “fully engaged” in the heart-wrenching case of Meriam Ibrahim, a Sudanese woman sentenced to death earlier this month after refusing to renounce her Christian faith, FoxNews.com has learned....

    “Through the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum, the White House and the State Department, we have communicated our strong concern at high levels of the Sudanese government about this case,” State Department spokeswoman Nicole Thompson wrote FoxNews.com in an email. “We have heard from many, many Americans that they are deeply alarmed by [Ibrahim’s] plight. We have conveyed these views to the Government of Sudan.”

    International outrage against Ibrahim’s sentence has grown significantly in recent weeks, as more than a million people signed online petitions protesting the sentence. One such effort on Change.org has garnered more than 630,000 signatures as of Friday, and Amnesty International officials have characterized the punishment doled out by a judge to be a “flagrant breach” of international human rights law. It’s also a violation of Sudan’s own Constitution, according to the State Department.

    “We call upon the Government of Sudan to respect the right to freedom of religion, including one’s right to change one’s faith or beliefs, a right which is enshrined in international human rights law as well as in Sudan’s own 2005 interim Constitution,” Thompson’s email continued. “We call on the Sudanese legal authorities to approach this case with the compassion that is in keeping with the values of the Sudanese people.”

    U.S. Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., chairman of the House congressional panel that oversees U.S. policy in Africa, has called on the African nation to reverse Ibrahim’s sentence immediately.

    “The refusal of the government of Sudan to allow religious freedom was one of the reasons for Sudan’s long civil war,” Smith said in a statement.

    It is not clear what diplomatic pressure the U.S. can bring to bear on Khartoum. Although American taxpayers send roughly $300 million per year in economic aid, the help is largely in the form of food and medicine. Cutting it off would only hurt the people, and not the regime of President Omar al-Bashir, who has been indicted as a war criminal by the International Criminal Court.....
    US 'fully engaged' in case of Sudanese woman sentenced to die for Christian faith | Fox News


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    It's good news coming out from Sudan. All the best to Meriam Ibrahim.

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    Senior Contributor Bigfella's Avatar
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    Hopefully one for the good guys, though I'll withhold popping the champagne corks until she is safely out of jail & preferably the country.


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    In Memoriam Military Professional Minskaya's Avatar
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    I hope you are right BF, but this was posted one hour ago...

    Sudan Denies Imminent Release of Woman Sentenced to Death for Apostasy

    In addition, Meriam Ibrahim's lawyer, Elshareef Ali Elshareef Mohammed, had this to say:

    "It's a statement to silence the international media. This is what the government does. We will not believe that she is being freed until she walks out of the prison. If they were to release her, the announcement would come from the appeal court, not from the ministry of foreign affairs. But at least it shows our campaign to free Meriam is rattling them. We must keep up the pressure."

  6. #6
    Senior Contributor Bigfella's Avatar
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    Hard to know what is going on Minnie. I saw the official interviewed, but I don't know what that means in terms of the Sudanese government. he might be freelancing or they might just be foxing. The lawyer is clearly keen to keep pressure on the government until she is out & free, so he has his own reasons to raise doubts. He does have a point about the regime beginning to crack under pressure, however. If they really weren't fussed about world opinion they would just forge ahead & kill her. I wonder what sort of screws are being applied behind the scenes.

    As I said, I'll pop the corks when she is out.


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  7. #7
    In Memoriam Military Professional Minskaya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigfella View Post
    As I said, I'll pop the corks when she is out.
    Consider this. The Sudanese official (Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Abdullah al-Azraq) was in London and thus under intense pressure when he made his remarks to the media.

    As far as I can determine, Meriam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag and her children are still imprisoned.

  8. #8
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    Meriam Ibrahim: Sudan denies retracting death sentence
    MON 2 JUN 2014

    Sudanese authorities denied that a woman sentenced to death for refusing to renounce her Christian faith would soon be set free, contrary to some media reports. On Sunday the BBC reported that a Sudanese foreign ministry official had said Meriam Ibrahim, who gave birth to a baby girl while in prison last week, would be freed from custody "in a few days' time". But the foreign ministry later clarified that Ibrahim's release depended on the outcome of a court appeal.

    A ministry statement said what Abdullah Alazreg, a foreign ministry under-secretary actually told media on Saturday was "that the defence team of the concerned citizen has appealed the verdict ... and if the appeals court rules in her favour, she will be released". "Some media took what the under-secretary said out of context, changing the meaning of what he said," the ministry clarified.
    Source

    Hugely disappointing.

  9. #9
    Senior Contributor Bigfella's Avatar
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    Looks like our Sudanese official was on the right track. The lady is free.

    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 the BBC Focus on Africa radio programme.
    Interesting analysis for those inclined to view all of this through the lense of what Western governments are/aren't doing:

    Analysis: James Copnall, former BBC Sudan correspondent

    The outcry generated by Meriam Ibrahim's case was difficult for the authorities to ignore.

    The government in Khartoum is already dealing with an economic crisis, and conflicts in Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile. It simply does not need further ill-feeling - and it is worth pointing out that many of the most vocal opponents of the conviction were Sudanese, not foreigners.

    In fact, Mrs Ibrahim's case looks like part of a recurring theme.

    In 2009 Lubna Hussein, dubbed the "trouser woman", was arrested for wearing "indecent clothing" in public - in her case a pair of loose green trousers. She was at risk of a public flogging. Eventually she was given a small fine, which was then paid on her behalf to set her free. In 2012, Intisar Sharif Abdullah was sentenced to death by stoning for adultery, before she too was released without charge.

    In every case, the authorities insist the justice system came to an independent decision, but many believe it bowed to public pressure


    BBC News - Sudan death sentence woman 'freed'


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  10. #10
    In Memoriam Military Professional Minskaya's Avatar
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    Terrific news. International pressures oftentimes do indeed generate positive results.

  11. #11
    Senior Contributor Doktor's Avatar
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    Why such penalty code is in force when people obviously don't agree with it?
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    The lady has been arrested again on charges of traveling with fake documents.

    Freed Christian woman detained trying to leave Sudan

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    Resident Curmudgeon Military Professional Gun Grape's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doktor View Post
    Why such penalty code is in force when people obviously don't agree with it?

    I think it has a lot to do with "Pleasing the masses".

    Sudan has 2 different law systems. Both a Muslim one based on Sharia and the one based on English common law.

    If you look at the history of people in Sudan being sentenced to death for Apostasy, you will find that in the 20 years that "Crime" has been on the books many been sentenced by the lower courts but in the end no one has been executed for it. It always gets overturned on appeal.

    This allows the government to please both sides.
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  14. #14
    Senior Contributor Bigfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle View Post
    The lady has been arrested again on charges of traveling with fake documents.

    Freed Christian woman detained trying to leave Sudan
    Hopefully it is what it is claimed to be - detained over travel documents. The worry is that it might be another part of the Sudanese government trying to get some revenge. We'll find out soon enough.


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    A very convenient charge to stop someone - "fake travel documents".

    Cheers!...on the rocks!!

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