A Khartoum, Sudan, court has sentenced Meriam Yehya Ibrahim to death for apostasy, or the renunciation of Islam. The 27-year-old woman – who is pregnant – was also sentenced to 100 lashes for adultery.
“The fact that a woman could be sentenced to death for her religious choice, and to flogging for being married to a man of an allegedly different religion, is abhorrent and should never be even considered,” Amnesty International’s Sudan researcher, Manar Idriss, says in a statement.
“’Adultery’ and ‘apostasy’ are acts which should not be considered crimes at all, let alone meet the international standard of ‘most serious crimes’ in relation to the death penalty. It is a flagrant breach of international human rights law,” Idriss says.
Ibrahim was born to a Sudanese Muslim father and an Ethiopian Orthodox mother. Although her father left when she was young and she was raised as Christian by her mother, she’s still considered Muslim by the courts. Therefore her marriage to a non-Muslim man is void and considered adultery under Sharia law.
Ibrahim also has a 20-month-old son. In past cases involving pregnant or nursing women, the Sudanese government waited until the mother weaned her child before executing any sentence, according to Christian Solidarity Worldwide spokeswoman Kiri Kankhwende.
Ibrahim’s lawyer, Haram Othman, tells CNN that her legal team plans to appeal the verdict within 15 days.