22 Congressmen Urge Kerry to Tell Sudan: Free Meriam Ibrahim and Her Son Now

Penny Starr | May 23, 2014 | 11:55am EDT
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Meriam Ibrahim, sentenced to death in Sudan for apostasy, is married to Daniel Wani, a Christian who holds American citizenship. They have a son and a second child is due to be born shortly. (Photo: Gabriel Wani/Facebook)

(CNSNews.com) –Twenty-two House lawmakers led by Rep. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.) have sent a letter on Thursday to Secretary of State John Kerry, asking him to confront the Sudanese government about Meriam Ibrahim, a jailed pregnant Christian woman facing execution for apostasy.

“We urge the State Department to condemn the ruling handed down by Sudan’s court and call upon the Sudanese government to respect human rights and free Mariam Yahya Ibrahim [sic] and her young son immediately,” stated the letter, signed by 21 Republicans and one Democrat.

Meriam Yehya Ibrahim, who is eight months pregnant with her second child and imprisoned with her under two-year-old son, Martin Wani, was convicted of apostasy and adultery on May 11 and sentenced to death and 100 lashes, respectively, according to the Sudan Tribune.

Ibrahim was born to an Ethiopian Orthodox mother and a Sudanese Muslim father.

She married her husband, Daniel Wani, a South Sudanese-born U.S. citizen, in 2012.

Under Sudan’s Islamic Sharia law, a Christian woman is not permitted to marry a non-Muslim man, which resulted in the “adultery” charge and conviction.

After she refused to renounce hear Christian faith in court, Ibrahim was convicted and sentenced to be executed for apostasy, a violation of Sharia law, for abandoning Islam and punishable by death.

In the letter, the lawmakers expressed “grave concern” about the fate of Ibrahim, who was jailed and convicted simply because she is a Christian.

It also noted that Khartoum University has been shut down “indefinitely” by Sudan’s Islamic government following protests by students demanding more freedom and improved social and economic conditions.

“Both Ibrahim’s case and Khartoum University’s closure exemplify Sudan’s continued suppression of internationally recognized human rights and freedoms, including the freedom of religion,” the letter stated.

The others who signed the letter are: Reps. Steve Stockman (R-Texas), Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.), Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.), Bill Posey (R-Fla.), John Shimkus (R-Ill.), Lee Terry (R-Neb.), Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.), Kerry Bentivolio (R-Mich.), Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.), John Fleming (R-La.), Sean Duffy (R-Wis.), Tim Griffin (R-Ariz.), Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), John Duncan (R-Tenn.), Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.), Tim Walberg (R-Mich.), James McGovern (D-Mass.), Randy Weber (R-Texas), Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.), James Lankford (R-Okla.) and Daniel Webster (R-Fla.).

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