18 July 2014

Sudan: Family of Sudan's Apostasy Woman Files a Lawsuit to Annul Her Marriage

Photo: Gabriel Wani/Facebook
Wedding photo of Meriam Ibrahim and Daniel Wani.

Khartoum — The family of the Sudanese woman formerly accused of apostasy has filed another lawsuit to annul her marriage to her Christian husband. Meriam Ibrahim was sentenced to death last May for renouncing Islam, but was released after what the government said was "unprecedented" international pressure. An appeals court found Ibrahim not guilty on two charges of apostasy and adultery and overturned the lower tribunal's verdict.

However, the 27-year-old woman was taken into custody by National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) officers at Khartoum airport last month along with her husband, Daniel Wani, and two children.

After being released from custody, Ibrahim has been staying at the US embassy in Khartoum along with her husband and two young children.

The Sudanese government accuses Ibrahim of forgery and providing false information in relation to a South Sudanese travel document she used while trying to leave Sudan for the US, a day after the appeals court ruling.

Ibrahim, who was reportedly born to a largely absent Sudanese Muslim father, was raised according to her Ethiopian mother's Christian faith.

Earlier this month, Ibrahim's brother lodged a case in the court of proceedings in Alhag Youssef neighbourhood, east of Khartoum to prove that Ibrahim is a family member through the DNA test.

Her father also filed a lawsuit to prove that Ibrahim is his daughter and a Muslim but he withdraw the case this week without giving reasons.

Ibrahim's sentence drew widespread international condemnation, with Amnesty International calling it "abhorrent." The US state department said it was "deeply disturbed" by the sentence and called on the Sudanese government to respect religious freedoms.

UK prime minister David Cameron told The Times that he was "absolutely appalled" when he learnt of the death sentence against Ibrahim and called for lifting the "barbaric" verdict.

The US state department welcomed the release of Ibrahim and called on Sudan to "repeal its laws that are inconsistent with its 2005 interim constitution, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights".

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