Sudan denies promising to free woman facing death for apostasy

PUBLISHED : Monday, 02 June, 2014, 3:49am
UPDATED : Monday, 02 June, 2014, 3:49am


Sudan denied yesterday that a Christian Sudanese 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 Yahia Ibrahim Ishag was sentenced to death on May 15 under the Islamic sharia law that has been in place since 1983 and outlaws conversions under penalty of death.

Abdullah al-Azraq, a foreign ministry undersecretary, said earlier on Saturday that Ishag "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 her defence team's appeal request.

A ministry statement said Azraq actually told media on Saturday "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".

"Some media took what the undersecretary said out of context, changing the meaning of what he said," Azraq said.

After Azraq's comment on Saturday, Ishag's husband, Daniel Wani, said he did not believe she would be freed.