Death row Sudanese Christian freed, lawyer

KHARTOUM: A Sudanese Christian who gave birth in prison after being sentenced to hang for apostasy was freed on Monday, one of her lawyers said. Official media confirmed that an appeal court annulled the earlier verdict against Meriam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag, 26. Her case sparked an outcry from Western governments and rights groups after a judge sentenced her to death on May 15. Almost one million people appealed to save her life on the Change.org petition website. “Meriam was released just about an hour ago,” the lawyer Mohanad Mustafa told AFP on Monday afternoon. “She’s now out of prison,” he said. Born to a Muslim father and an Ethiopian Orthodox Christian mother, Ishag was convicted under Islamic sharia law that has been in force in Sudan since 1983 and outlaws conversions on pain of death. Her lawyers appealed the verdict. On Monday the higher court “issued a judgement on release of the prisoner Abrar Al-Hadi Mohamed Abdalla and dismissing the decree issued earlier by the first instance court,” the official SUNA news agency reported, using her father’s Muslim name. 

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