International Religious Freedom Caucus Co-Chair: State Dept. Must Intervene on Behalf of Christian Woman Sentenced to Death

May 15, 2014 Issues: Religious Freedom

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congressman Trent Franks (AZ-08), co-chair of the International Religious Freedom Caucus, today released the following statement in response to news that a Sudanese woman, Meriam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag, has been sentenced to death for her faith:

"We have learned that Meriam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag -- a Sudanese Christian woman -- has been sentenced to death by hanging after being accused of apostasy by a court that gave her 'three days to recant' and 'return to Islam.' Ms. Ishag, who is married to an American citizen, was raised as an Orthodox Christian by her mother, thus making a 'return' to Islam fundamentally impossible. She is also eight months pregnant.

"Such blatant disregard for the value of human life --and religious freedom -- is an indescribable disgrace. I urge the U.S. State Department to immediately step in on Ms. Ishag's behalf and to articulate conclusively that such blatant abrogations of the most basic human rights will be taken extremely seriously, and that Sudan is expected to fulfill its sworn obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights."