PC (USA) Urge the Release of Prisoner of Conscience in Sudan!

Urge the Release of Prisoner of Conscience in Sudan!

Friday, May 16, 2014

The Africa Office of World Mission has asked us to let you know about the situation of  Meriam Yehya Ibrahim, a Christian Sudanese woman who is a prisoner of conscience charged with apostasy and adultery.  She is pregnant and imprisoned along with her 20 month old son.

Please contact the officials listed below and urge them release her immediately and unconditionally.
Treating adultery and apostasy as criminal offences is not consistent with international human rights law – including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights – to which Sudan is a state party. The criminalization of adultery violates the rights to freedom of expression and association and invariably discriminates against women in its enforcement. The criminalization of apostasy is incompatible with the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. Meriam Ibrahim is a prisoner of conscience, convicted solely because of her religious beliefs and identity, and must be released immediately and unconditionally.

Please contact the officials listed below and urge her release.

URGENT ACTION:  Urge the Release of Sudanese Christian Prisoner of Conscience

Meriam Yehya Ibrahim, a Christian Sudanese woman, was convicted on charges of ‘adultery’ and ‘apostasy’ and was sentenced to flogging and death. She is a prisoner of conscience, currently in detention with her 20-month-old son. Meriam Yehya Ibrahim, a 27-year- old Christian Sudanese woman, eight months pregnant with her second child, was convicted of ‘adultery’ and ‘apostasy’ by a court in Khartoum on 11 May. Meriam was given three days by the court to recant her faith. .

Treating adultery and apostasy as criminal offences is not consistent with international human rights law – including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights – to which Sudan is a state party. The criminalization of adultery violates the rights to freedom of expression and association and invariably discriminates against women in its enforcement. The criminalization of apostasy is incompatible with the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. Meriam Ibrahim is a prisoner of conscience, convicted solely because of her religious beliefs and identity, and must be released immediately and unconditionally.

Meriam was arrested and charged with adultery in August 2013 after a family member reportedly claimed that she was committing adultery because of her marriage to a Christian South Sudanese man. Under Shari’a law as practised in Sudan, a Muslim woman is not permitted to marry a non-Muslim man, and any such marriage is considered adultery. The court added the charge of apostasy in February 2014 when Meriam asserted that she was a Christian and not a Muslim. According to Meriam, she was raised as an Orthodox Christian, her mother’s religion, because her father, a Muslim, was absent during her childhood. Meriam risks being sentenced to up to 100 lashes for adultery under Article 146. If she refuses to recant her Christian faith, she risks the death penalty for apostasy under Article 126 of the Sudan Criminal Code. The punishment of flogging violates the absolute prohibition against torture and other ill-treatment in international human rights law. Amnesty International considers the death penalty to be the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment and a violation of the right to life and opposes its use in all cases and without exception, regardless of the nature of the crime.

Please write immediately in Arabic, English or your own language:

Urging the authorities to ensure that Meriam Yehya Ibrahim is released immediately and unconditionally because she is a prisoner of conscience, convicted solely because of her religious beliefs and identity; Calling on the authorities to repeal Articles 126 and 146 that criminalise apostasy and adultery respectively, in conformity with Sudan’s obligations under international human rights law; Calling on the authorities to abolish the punishment of flogging and the death penalty.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 24 JUNE 2014 TO:

Minister of Justice

Mohamed Bushara Dousa

Ministry of Justice

Email: moj@moj.gov.sd

Salutation: Your Excellency

 

Minister of Foreign Affairs

Ali Ahmed Karti

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Email: ministry@mfa.gov.sd

Salutation: Your Excellency

 

And copies to:

 

Minister of Interior

 

Ibrahim Mahmoud Hamed

Ministry of Interior

Email: mut@isoc.sd

 

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country.

 

Charge d’Affaires: Robert E. Whitehead

Embassy of Sudan in Washington DC

Email: info@sudanembassy.org