Peace & Justice

This is the blog of the Commission on Peace and Justice for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, New York.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Catholic mother condemned

The case of Meriam Ibrahim has gained world-wide attention.

She is the 27-year-old Catholic woman in Sudan who was sentenced to death and to 100 lashes after refusing to renounce her Christian faith. She has been convicted by a court in Khartoum on charges of apostasy and adultery. Last month, she gave birth to a baby girl while shackled to the floor in a Khartoum prison where she is being held with her newborn daughter and 20-month-old son.

Her husband, Daniel Wani, a US citizen, told the Guardian newspaper that his wife and children were being held in inhumane conditions, and the prison authorities were "extremely tough" with her. He said that she spent two days in her labor blood after she gave birth and was prevented from having a shower until the human rights committee visited. 
According to newspaper reports, Ibrahim had told the court she was the daughter of a Sudanese Muslim father and an Ethiopian Christian mother. She said that her father left when she was six, and she was brought up as a Christian by her mother. She met Wani, who moved to the US in 1998 and became an American citizen, in 2005. They were married at Khartoum Catholic church on December 19, 2011.

CNA/EWTN News reports that the Catholic Archdiocese of Khartoum has urged Sudanese authorities to review the legal case. 
“The fact of the matter is that Meriam did not abandon the Islamic faith but rather she, in the first place, did not follow the Islamic religion since her childhood,” Father Mussa Timothy Kacho, episcopal vicar for the archdiocese’s Khartoum region, said June 11.

He said the archdiocese has “deep regret” over the way the case was handled “in disregard to Meriam’s moral and religious belief.” He noted that Sudan’s interim constitution guarantees religious freedom.

Vatican Radio reports that a gathering of Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Sikhs and representatives of other denominations from across the European Union earlier this month called for her immediate release.
A petition has been started urging the Obama administration to “pressure the Sudanese government to release Meriam and her children so she can escape execution and possible death of her children and be rejoined with her husband in the U.S. Please grant her expedited safe haven in the U.S., where she could seek asylum.”

You can sign the petition here.

Labels: ,