Meriam Ibrahim, the pregnant woman sentenced to death for refusing to accept she was Muslim and marrying a Christian man in Sudan, is set to be freed "in a few days," a senior Khartoum official told the BBC.
Ibrahim made international headlines a few weeks ago when a Sudanese court sentenced her to death for apostasy -- refusing to renounce her Christian faith. Several governments and humanitarian organizations spoke out, urging the Sudanese government to overturn the harsh sentence and release Ibrahim from prison. She was jailed with her 20-month-old son.
U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron said "I urge the government of Sudan to overturn the sentence and immediately provide appropriate support and medical care for her and her children." Amnesty International launched a petition to free her and more than 200,000 people signed it.
Ibrahim was raised by a Christian mother and married a Christian man. However, a court ruling declared that she was Muslim by birth, as that was her father’s faith. Her marriage was annulled as a marriage between a Christian and Muslim is not considered legal. Sex outside a “lawful relationship” is considered adultery in Sudan.
When she refused to change her faith, she was sentenced with 100 lashes for adultery and death by hanging for apostasy. At the time of her sentencing, Ibrahim was pregnant with a baby who she gave birth to several days ago in a jail cell. Sudan’s criminal code states that a pregnant woman with a death sentence can nurse her child for two years in jail before the sentence can be carried out.
The majority of Sudan’s population is Muslim and Sharia, Islam's legal code, has been enforced since the 1980s.