According to Wani, last August someone posing as a relative reported Meriam in to the authorities for being a ‘Muslim who converted to Christianity.’ According to Shari’a law, any child born to a Muslim father must be brought up a Muslim. Anyone found guilty of converting from Islam to any other religion is guilty of apostasy and subject to the death penalty. Since Shari’a law does not recognize a Muslim woman’s marriage to anyone outside of Islam, the Sudan’s court also found Meriam guilty of adultery.
Wani further stated to Morning Star News that during the time Meriam has been incarcerated she has been beaten, personally abused, starved, and refused all medical treatment. There is concern the son will be executed as well.
This morning when Meriam was hauled into the district court in Khartoum for sentencing, she was placed in a cage and ‘counseled’ by Muslim religious leaders for thirty minutes. The court refused to use Meriam’s name, instead referring to her only by her father’s Muslim name of Adraf Al-Hadi Mohammed Abdullah.
According to Al Jazeera, at the end of the 30 minutes, Judge Abbas Mohammed Al-Khalifa asked her what she had decided. Meriam calmly stated, “I am a Christian and I never committed apostasy.”
Judge Abbas then sentenced her to a severe flogging for adultery, followed with death by hanging. Al-Shareef Ali al-Shareef Mohammed, Meriam’s attorney, did state they will appeal the sentencing within the next 15 days.
Manar Idriss, Amnesty International’s Sudan researcher said, “The fact that a woman has been sentenced to death for her religious choice, and to flogging for being married to a man of an allegedly different religion is appalling and abhorrent. Adultery and apostasy are acts which should not be considered crimes at all. It is flagrant breach of international human rights law.”
Even though Wani is a U.S. Citizen, he is being denied custody of his son and the child about to be born. The court has ignored the couple’s legal marriage certificate as well as the son’s legal birth certificate and claim that the only proof acceptable would be a positive DNA test – but that must be completed in the U.S. Such a test would require an inordinate amount of time, which neither Meriam nor her children have.
There is speculation that Meriam will be kept alive until her baby is born, but the fate of the child is unknown.
Chief Master Sergeant (Ret) Chuck Wooten, who is running for U.S. Congress in AZ-2 issued this statement:
"I am deeply saddened and outraged upon learning that Meriam was sentenced to death. Most especially when no crime was committed. Again, we must rely on the U.S. State Department to become engaged with the global community to mitigate this tragedy and to common citizens, it appears inaction has once again paralyzed the Department. There is a peaceful solution to destroying Meriam's precious life, while she is carrying another precious life. Our diplomats should have already sprung into action to preclude further bloodshed in Sudan. I'm praying fervently for Meriam, her husband and her children this situation is swiftly and mercifully resolved."
Joanne Moudy is the author of “The Tenth,” a paranormal thriller exploring the very real trauma of abortion in a fictional realm. She proudly served as an officer in the military for nine years, before specializing in emergency nursing until retirement. She speaks regularly on the subjects of religious freedom, traditional marriage, and pro-life, and the impact of liberalism and secularism on all of humanity. You can follow her on Twitter @composedof1.