The World Pubic Forum “Dialogue of Civilizations” came to learn with great dismay the decision of a Sudanese court to sentence Mrs. Meriam Yehya Ibrahim, a pregnant Sudanese woman to death for her religious choice, and to flogging for being married to a man of an allegedly different religion.
The World Public Forum is also very much concerned on the health issue of Mrs. Meriam Yehya Ibrahim as she is eight months pregnant and currently in detention with her 20-month-old son.
She is convicted solely because of her religious beliefs and identity, and the court also sentenced her to 100 lashes on charges of adultery, because she had married a Christian and the union was not considered valid.
The World Public Forum calls upon the government of Sudan to respect the right to freedom of religion, including one’s right to change one’s faith or beliefs, a right which is enshrined in international human rights law, as well as the Constitution of Sudan (2005) which guarantees complete freedom to worship a religion of one’s choosing (Article 6.A), the rights of men and women to marry and build a family (Article 15.1), and the State obligation to “protect motherhood and women from injustice...and empower them in public life” (Article 15.2). The Constitution also prohibits ‘cruel, inhuman, or degrading’ punishments (Article 33), provides guarantees for fair trial and due process (Article 34) and prohibits use of the death penalty on ‘pregnant or lactating women’ (Article 36).
The World Public Forum kindly asks the Government of Sudan to release Mrs. Meriam Yehya Ibrahim from custody immediately without any pre-condition.