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Meriam Ibrahim not to go free as previously reported; words taken out of context

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As people all over the world rejoiced at the knowledge that Meriam Ibrahim, the Sudanese woman condemned to death for apostasy, would be released, the Guardian reports on June 1 that it may not be so. Sudan is claiming that the words of its foreign minister Abdullah Alazreg, were taken out of context.

Alazreg claimed on Saturday that Ibrahim “will be freed within days in line with legal procedures that will be taken by the judiciary and the ministry of justice.” However, what wasn’t said was that this all depends on an appeal request made by her defense attorneys.

Accordingly, a statement was released saying that what Alazreg actually said 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.” Furthermore, that the “the government does not interfere in the work of the judiciary because it is an independent body. Some media took what the under-secretary said out of context, changing the meaning of what he said.”

Meriam’s husband, Daniel Wani, said he did not think she would be freed. “No one has contacted me and I don’t think it will happen. We have submitted an appeal but they have not looked at it yet, so how is it that they will release her?” Wani is an American citizen and has visited his wife and new daughter in prison, claiming they are both in good health.

Meriam’s attorney, Mohammad Mustapha, also expressed doubt that the charges against her would be dropped. “The only party who can do that is the appeals court but I am not sure that they have the full case file,” he said. A hearing has been postponed because that file is incomplete. According to The Telegraph on June 2, her legal team is planning to take Meriam's case before an international commission.

Meriam Ibrahim was convicted on May 15 to be hung for the crime of apostasy. Being pregnant, she would be allowed to nurse her child for two years before sentence would be carried out.

Meriam was born to a Muslim father but raised an Orthodox Christian. The court claims she is a Muslim through her father, despite how she was raised. They gave her three days to recant her faith. She refused. She was also sentenced to 100 lashes for adultery. Her marriage to Daniel Wani, also a Christian, was nullified since she was ruled a Muslim; therefore, she committed adultery.

The case of Meriam Ibrahim has ignited global condemnation. Meriam claims she is not and has never been a Muslim. The Sudanese court claims she is. Will Sudan capitulate to world pressure? At this point, no one knows, but all eyes are on Sudan and their interpretation Muslim law.

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