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Britain summons Sudan diplomat over death penalty for Christian convert
May 19, 2014 / 6:45 PM / 3 years ago

Britain summons Sudan diplomat over death penalty for Christian convert

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain summoned the Sudanese charge d'affaires on Monday to protest against sentencing a pregnant woman to death for converting to Christianity.

A Sudanese court this month handed down the sentence to 27-year-old Mariam Yahya Ibrahim for converting to Christianity. The court ordered her to abandon her newly adopted faith and return to Islam. She was also charged with adultery for marrying a Christian.

Britain's foreign office said the sentence was barbaric and asked Sudanese Charge d'Affaires Bukhari Afandi to urge his government to uphold its international obligations on freedom of religion or belief and do all it can to overturn this decision.

In reaction to Britain's move, Sudan's Foreign Ministry said Ibrahim's case was a judicial, not political, matter.

"The ruling on the woman was issued by the judiciary in Sudan which is independent and the government does not interfere in it," spokesman Abu-Bakr Al-Siddiq told Reuters adding the ruling could be appealed in a higher court.

Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge in London and Khalid Abdel Aziz in Khartoum; Editing by Belinda Goldsmith and Alison Williams

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