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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Sudan frees woman on death row

MANCHESTER (AP) – Members of New Hampshire’s Congressional delegation are praising the decision to cancel the death sentence and release a woman from a Sudanese prison. Meriam Ibrahim faced death because she married a Christian, Daniel Wani, who had lived in New Hampshire. His brother, Gabriel, lives in Manchester.

Carol Shea-Porter, called Ibrahim’s release “overdue and welcome news.” Annie Kuster said the sentencing and imprisonment was “a horrific violation of human rights.” Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Kelly Ayotte say they’ll continue to work with Wani to help ensure his family is brought home. ...

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MANCHESTER (AP) – Members of New Hampshire’s Congressional delegation are praising the decision to cancel the death sentence and release a woman from a Sudanese prison. Meriam Ibrahim faced death because she married a Christian, Daniel Wani, who had lived in New Hampshire. His brother, Gabriel, lives in Manchester.

Carol Shea-Porter, called Ibrahim’s release “overdue and welcome news.” Annie Kuster said the sentencing and imprisonment was “a horrific violation of human rights.” Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Kelly Ayotte say they’ll continue to work with Wani to help ensure his family is brought home.

“We all hope that the family will soon be allowed to come to New Hampshire,” Gov. Maggie Hassan said in a statement. “Our nation was founded on the principle that freedom of religion is one of our most basic and important human rights, and thanks to the diplomatic efforts of so many, including New Hampshire’s congressional delegation, this unjust, unconscionable abuse of Meriam Ibrahim’s fundamental right has reportedly been resolved.”

The 27-year-old Ibrahim gave birth in prison last month to her second child.

Ibrahim, whose father was Muslim but who was raised by her Christian mother, was convicted of apostasy, a crime punishable by death under Sudan’s strict enforcement of Islamic law. As in many Muslim nations, Muslim women in Sudan are prohibited from marrying non-Muslims, though Muslim men can marry outside their faith. By law, children must follow their father’s religion.

The sentence drew international condemnation, with Amnesty International calling it “abhorrent.” The U.S. State Department said it was “deeply disturbed” by the sentence and called on the Sudanese government to respect religious freedoms.

State news agency SUNA said the Court of Cassation threw out the death sentence against 27-year-old Meriam Ibrahim after defense lawyers presented their case.

Her lawyer, Eman Abdul-Rahim said Ibrahim left prison and was with her husband. Her 18-month-old son, Martin, had been with her in jail, where she gave birth last month to a second child.