A 27-year-old Sudanese woman facing the death penalty for refusing to abandon Christianity will now be freed, according to multiple reports Sunday.
Mariam Yahya Ibrahim — who gave birth to a girl while in prison — should be free within a few days, Sudanese officials told the BBC.
Ibrahim was also facing 100 lashes for adultery as a result of marrying a Christian man. The sentence was handed down last month by a Sudanese court, which gave Ibrahim an ultimatum: Convert to Islam or hang. Ibrahim told the court, “I am a Christian,” and was subsequently sentenced to die. She was eight months pregnant at the time.
The sentence prompted an international outcry, with the British Prime Minister David Cameron calling it “barbaric.”
The case stemmed from a Sudanese law requiring children to follow their father’s faith. Ibrahim’s father is a Muslim, though she was predominantly raised by her mother, an Orthodox Christian. After the sentence was handed down, Ibrahim’s lawyers vowed to fight it.
Ibrahim’s lawyers told Reuters that neither they nor her husband had been notified of her release.
Sudan is one of 13 countries with death sentences for apostasy, renunciation of a religion. Others include Afghanistan, Iran, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Nigeria, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.
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