Doctor Maryam Yahya Ibrahim was charged with apostasy under Article 126 of the Sudanese Criminal Law concerning conversion from Islam to another religion, and of adultery under Article 146 of the same law.
Judge Abbas Mohamed Khalifa called the Islamic Dawa organisation and the Sudanese Fatwa Council of Fatwa as experts on the matter. The doctor was convicted for adultery as she had conceived without being married under Muslim law. Her husband was acquitted as he had married her under Christian law.
The doctor, who is pregnant, has been held in Omdurman Federal Women’s Prison since 17 February, with her 20-month-old son. She was born in western Sudan to an Ethiopian Christian mother and a Sudanese Muslim father. Her father disappeared from her life when she was six years old. Witnesses have testified that her mother raised her in the Christian faith.
“The court gave her until Thursday to repent,” a lawyer told Radio Dabanga. “It seems that the court is pressuring her to convert to Islam in exchange for her life,” she noted.