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3:42 pm - Tuesday November 16, 7430

Forced to give birth in chains: Sudan woman's cruel treatment after marrying non-muslim-EXPRESS

THE husband of a Sudanese woman sentenced to death for marrying outside her faith has spoken out after his wife was forced to give birth in a squalid prison.

Meriam Ibrahim was condemned to death after she was convicted of apostasy earlier this month – the abandonment of one’s religious faith – and has been in prison ever since.

The 26-year-old doctor was given four days to repent and escape death, but the deadline passed without her changing her mind.

She was also been sentenced to 100 lashes for committing “zena” – Arabic for illegitimate sex – for having a relationship with a non-Muslim.

Ms Ibrahim gave birth to a healthy baby girl in the hospital wing at Omdurman Federal Women’s Prison in Sudan’s capital, Khartoum.

Now her husband, Dr Daniel Wani, has described his delight at meeting his daughter for the first time, as well as his anger that his wife was forced to give birth in chains.

Mr Wani told The Telegraph: “It was very wonderful to see my baby daughter – I am so happy. The baby is very beautiful.”

He said that his wife chose their daughter’s name – Maya.

He added: “She is OK. She does not look too bad.”

Dr Wani is allowed only very restricted access to his wife and children.

He said: “I will try tomorrow. But they probably won’t let me in as I can only twice a week.

“They make it very hard for you.”

Ms Ibrahim has been kept shackled during her time in jail and even had to give birth in chains.

Dr Wani said: “They kept a chain on her legs, she is very unhappy about that.”

Ms Ibrahim married her husband, a Christian, in a formal church ceremony in 2011 and the couple also have a son, 20-month-old Martin, who is currently with her in jail outside Khartoum.

Martin is not allowed to be cared for by his father because the authorities claim that the young child is a Muslim.

Muslim women in Sudan are forbidden to marry non-Muslims, although Muslim men are permitted to marry outside the faith.

By law, children must follow their father’s religion.

Ms Ibrahim’s legal team are waiting for news on the case after has appealing against the couple’s convictions. If the appeal is unsuccessful they will take the case to Sudan’s High Court.

Although Dr Wani said he is sure that his wife will not renounce her Christian religion, he insisted that knowing how much support she has across the world is a real boost.

He said: “She really appreciates that and is thanking people.

“She wants people to support her and pressure the government to reverse the sentence.

“I really hope they do.”

Filed in: Current Affairs / News