The Obama administration is being pressured to grant asylum to a woman from Sudan who is pregnant and has been sentenced to death because of her Christian faith, according to Fox News.
The woman, 27-year-old Meriam Yahya Ibrahim, is being held in a prison in Sudan with her 20-month old son. She has been there for more than three months. Her husband holds citizenship in the United States.
A judge in Khartoum ruled last week that Ibrahim be put to death by hanging after she gives birth and then nurses her child for two years. She was sentenced to death because she refused to renounce her Christian faith.
“I am disgusted and appalled by the inhumane verdict Ms. Ibrahim has received, simply for refusing to recant her Christian faith,” said Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said. Rubio is a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Two letters have been sent to the Obama administration by Roy Blunt from Missouri and Kelly Ayotte from New Hampshire that ask the administration for “full attention to the outrageous Sudanese court ruling,” and the letters request “immediate action and full diplomatic engagement” to provide safe passage and political asylum for the woman and her son.
A resolution was announced on Wednesday by a group of senators that condemns her death sentence. The resolution asks the government of Sudan to respect the religious freedoms of the world in order to normalize relations with the United States.
The woman was also sentenced to 100 lashes, to be given to her upon delivering her child. She was sentenced to the lashes for adultery. The adultery was due to her relationship with her Christian husband.
Jen Psaki, a spokeswoman for the State Department, said, “Through our U.S. Embassy in Khartoum, the White House and the State Department have communicated our strong concern to the highest levels of the Government of Sudan over this case. We’ve also joined with other embassies in Khartoum to express our concern in a widely distributed public statement. U.S. Embassy officials have been engaged in the case from the earliest days.”
An appeals court in Khartoum is scheduled to issue a ruling on an appeal sometime in the coming week.