"I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life"

Father God, thank you for the love of the truth you have given me. Please bless me with the wisdom, knowledge and discernment needed to always present the truth in an attitude of grace and love. Use this blog and Northwoods Ministries for your glory. Help us all to read and to study Your Word without preconceived notions, but rather, let scripture interpret scripture in the presence of the Holy Spirit. All praise to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Pending Release of Meriam Denied by Khartoum Causing Global Outcry

Meriam and her baby born last week in women's prison in Khartoum
Pressure on the Sudanese government to release Meriam Ibrahim stepped up on Monday with a formal complaint against authorities in Khartoum brought by four African organisations alleging multiple violations of fundamental rights.

The death sentence imposed on the Sudanese mother, who has been in prison since February, should be suspended, and she and her two children immediately released, they say.

The four organisations – the African Centre of Justice and Peace Studies, the Sudanese Organisation for Development and Rehabilitation, the Sudanese Human Rights Initiative, and the Justice Centre for Advocacy and Legal Consultancy – together with Redress, a London-based anti-torture group, say Sudan has violated Ibrahim's fundamental rights as enshrined in the African charter on human rights, which the Khartoum government ratified in 1986.

Their move came as the Sudanese foreign ministry retracted a statement issued by an official at the weekend, which suggested that Ibrahim would be freed imminently.

Instead it said her release depended on the outcome of the judicial process. "The defence team of the concerned citizen has appealed the verdict … and if the appeals court rules in her favour, she will be released," the foreign ministry said on Monday.

Ibrahim was convicted last month of apostasy and adultery. The court insisted she was a Muslim because her father was a Muslim, even though Ibrahim said she had been brought up as a Christian after her father abandoned the family when she was six. In 2011, she married Daniel Wani, a Christian who now lives in the US and is an American citizen.

Some interfaith marriage is forbidden in Sudan – in this case the court ruled that Ibrahim, as a Muslim woman, was not allowed to marry a Christian man – and Muslims are banned from changing their religious identity. Ibrahim was sentenced to 100 public lashes for adultery, and to death for apostasy.

Last week, Ibrahim gave birth to her daughter in Omdurman women's prison in Khartoum, where she has been held along with her 20-month-old son. "The prison is notoriously overcrowded and the medical care provided is insufficient, resulting in appalling conditions to inmates. Her situation is aggravated by the fact that she is routinely shackled, which makes it very difficult for her to look after her children," Redress said in a statement.

Her case "highlights the pervasive discrimination against women in Sudan, which also results in a discriminatory application of the law", it added.

Ibrahim's lawyers have lodged an appeal against her convictions, but say the process can take a long time. Human rights groups have said the international campaign over Ibrahim's incarceration could force the authorities to expedite the appeal.

Political and religious leaders, celebrities and other public figures in the UK, US and elsewhere have spoken out against Ibrahim's death sentence, describing it as "barbaric" and "abhorrent".

Please pray for the Appeals Court to throw this ridiculous travesty of justice out and set Meriam and her children free.