Guardian: Sudan Retracts Claim that Meriam Ibrahim will be Freed
It appears our caution over this week’s good news was justified. Reports earlier this week indicated that Meriam Ibrahim, an Orthodox Christian woman awaiting death for her faith in Sudan, would be set free this week. The government of Sudan is now saying that its statement was taken out of context.
Sudan retracts claim that Meriam Ibrahim will be freed
Statement by official on Christian woman sentenced to death for apostasy was taken out context, foreign ministry now says
Agence France-Presse in Khartoum
theguardian.com, Sunday 1 June 2014 22.08 EDT
Sudan has denied a Christian woman sentenced to hang for apostasy would be freed soon, saying quotes attributed to a foreign ministry official had been taken out of context.
Meriam Ibrahim was sentenced to death on 15 May under the Islamic law that has been in place since 1983 and outlaws conversions under pain of death.
Abdullah Alazreg, a foreign ministry under-secretary, told the media on Saturday Ibrahim “will be freed within days in line with legal procedure that will be taken by the judiciary and the ministry of justice”.
But the foreign ministry said the release of the 27-year-old, who gave birth to a baby girl in prison on Tuesday, depended on whether a court accepted an appeal request made by her defence team.
A ministry statement said what Alazreg 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”.
Alazreg said “the government does not interfere in the work of the judiciary because it is an independent body”, the ministry said. “Some media took what the under-secretary said out of context, changing the meaning of what he said.”