today's Pick
Sudanese woman spared death is in US
Publish Date: Aug 01, 2014
Sudanese woman spared death is in US
Pope Francis blesses Meriam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag and her daughter Maya during a private audience at the Vatican. (AFP/Osservatore Romano)
  • mail
  • img
newvision

WASHINGTON - A Sudanese Christian woman – sentenced to death for renouncing Islam but acquitted after international pressure on Khartoum – has arrived in the United States with her family.

Meriam Ibrahim Tehya Ishag flew first into the east coast city of Philadelphia Thursday, where she was welcomed by the mayor as a "world freedom fighter," media reports said.

The mayor presented her with a model of the Liberty Bell, a symbol of US independence, the reports said.

The 26-year-old, her two infant children and her US citizen husband Daniel Wani later continued on to New Hampshire, where Wani has family, and was greeted by cheering supporters with balloons and US flags, the reports added.

After leaving Sudan, the family had spent eight days in Rome, where Ishag met Pope Francis, visited the Colosseum, shopped and "learned how to live again," she said.
 


Meriam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag and her children Maya and Martin, and husband Daniel met with the pope at the Vatican. (AFP/Osservatore Romano)


The pope blessed both mother and daughter at the Vatican. (AFP/Osservatore Romano)

The White House last week said it was delighted at Ishag's release and looked forward to welcoming her to the United States.

A global outcry erupted in May after Ishag was sentenced under sharia law to hang for apostasy.

Days after her conviction, she gave birth to her daughter in prison.

Ishag's conviction was overturned in June, but she was immediately rearrested while trying to leave Sudan using what prosecutors claimed were forged documents.

Two days later, Ishag was released from prison and she and her family took refuge in the US embassy because of mounting death threats.
 


Here, she is assisted by Italian Deputy Foreign Minister Lapo Pistelli (L) upon arrival with her children Maya and Martin, at the Ciampino airport in Rome last week


Ishag arrived in Italy with her family en route to the United States

Ishag was born to a Muslim father who abandoned the family, and was raised by her Ethiopian Orthodox Christian mother. The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Khartoum says Ishaq joined the Catholic church shortly before she married in 2011.

She was convicted under Islamic sharia law that has been in force in Sudan since 1983, and that says Muslim conversion to another faith is punishable by death.

The court had also sentenced her to 100 lashings because under sharia law it considered her union with her non-Muslim husband to be adultery.

Ishag's case raised questions of religious freedom in mostly-Muslim Sudan and sparked vocal protests from Western governments and human rights groups.

The case has re-focused attention on a country which has slipped from the international spotlight but where war continues with millions of people in need of humanitarian aid.

AFP

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
President Yoweri Museveni has warned that if corruption in Uganda goes unchecked and unpunished, it would pose a serious threat to the country....
More Ugandan doctors for Ebola fight
Another team of 12 Ugandan medics has arrived in Liberia to boost the emergency response to the Ebola epidemic....
At least 11 people have died and several others have been injured during a stampede at a church service in the Zimbabwean mining town of Kwekwe....
Around the world in 21 pictures
Get in touch with what is going on around the world through the lens of a camera....
Tapeworm lives in man
Scientists in Britain removed and studied a rare tapeworm that lived in a man''s brain for four years, researchers said on Friday....
Details of Barack Obama
US President Barack Obama took executive action on Thursday to lift the threat of deportation for some five million people....
Should workers be subjected to a 4% Health Insurance Tax??
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter