Meriam Ibrahim, a Christian woman sentenced to death by hanging for her faith, has reportedly just given birth to a baby girl in a Sudanese prison.
This newborn girl – a U.S. citizen through her American father, Miriam’s Christian husband – is now languishing in harsh prison conditions alongside her 20-month-old American brother.
Meriam’s baby girl was born early Tuesday morning in the prison, and it is unclear how mom and baby are doing. Her American husband, Daniel Wani, and his attorney were barred from visiting her and both of his children today.
Meriam is on death row for being a Christian. Sudan has ascribed the Islamic faith of her father to her even though he abandoned her and her Christian mother when she was very young. Under Sudan’s imposition of Shariah Law, the court said she “abandoned” her faith and is an apostate for becoming a Christian. The reality is that she has always been raised Christian. When the judge in Sudan demanded she recant her Christian faith, she refused. She said, “I was never a Muslim,” and continued, “I am a Christian, and I will remain a Christian.”
According to her sentence, now that she has had the baby, she is due to receive 100 lashes for marrying an American Christian. That sentence in and of itself could in fact kill her. Yet after that sentence is carried out, she will then later be put to death by hanging.
According to Sudanese law, her sentence could be delayed as her attorneys in Sudan appeal her case. Yet, according to international law, her conviction itself, purely based on her chosen faith, is illegal.
As we work with world leaders and Members of Congress, it is critical to show that the American people are engaged in this case, to make it a priority.
We’ll continue to keep you updated as the fight for Meriam and her American children continues.
Matthew Clark is Associate Counsel for Government Affairs and Media Advocacy with the ACLJ. A lifelong citizen of the Commonwealth of Virginia, he lives with his wife and three boys in Northern Virginia. Follow Matthew Clark: @_MatthewClark.