Sudan: Lawyers to Challenge Legality of Apostasy

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent

KHARTOUM (Worthy News)-- Lawyers in Sudan representing Meriam Ibrahim are planning to take her cause to the country's constitutional court, according to Barnabas Aid.

Although Ibrahim's conviction for apostasy was overturned in June, her case is still before Sudan's Supreme Court following an appeal by Muslim members of her family. But Ibrahim's lawyers intend to challenge the constitutionality of all Sudan's convictions for apostasy, period.

In Sudan, those leaving Islam can be tried for apostasy and may face the death penalty under article 126 of Sudan's Criminal Code: "Whoever is guilty of apostasy is invited to repent over a period to be determined by a tribunal. If he persists in his apostasy and was not recently converted to Islam, he will be put to death."

Shari'a prescribes the death sentence for adult male apostates. The punishment for adult female apostates varies according to different shari'a schools, e.g., the Hanafi school prescribes only imprisonment until the woman returns to Islam, but Ibrahim was given just three days to return before being sentenced to death in May.

Sudanese law follows the Islamic tradition that one's religion is determined by the religion of their father. Therefore, Ibrahim was tried as an apostate because Sudanese law recognized her father's religion, Islam, as her own despite the fact that she was raised as a Christian by her mother.