WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter D-N.H., has signed a House Resolution condemning the charges against Meriam Ibrahim, a woman sentenced to 100 lashes and death by hanging for apostasy and adultery because she married Daniel Wani, a Christian resident of Manchester, N.H.
“This is an outrageous violation of human rights,” Shea-Porter said in a prepared statement. “We must do everything in our power to provide for the safe release of Meriam Ibrahim. I have already sent a letter to the U.S. State Department on this issue, and I continue to monitor the situation closely.”
House Resolution 601 is a bipartisan resolution expressing that the House of Representatives:
· Condemns the charge of apostasy and adultery of Meriam Ibrahim;
· Calls for the immediate and unconditional release of Ibrahim, her 20-month-old son, and newborn daughter;
· Urges the U.S. Department of State and the Department of Homeland Security to prioritize granting Ibrahim asylum or refugee status as appropriate;
· Encourages efforts by the U.S. government to support religious freedom within Sudan;
· Recognizes that every individual regardless of religion should have the opportunity to practice his or her religion without fear of discrimination.
An identical Senate resolution was introduced by Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and signed by both New Hampshire Sens. Kelly Ayotte and Jeanne Shaheen.
Wani is a biochemist who fled the Sudan with his brother Gabriel in 1998 and immigrated to New Hampshire. He returned to the Sudan last summer to try to secure the paperwork needed to bring his wife and child back to the Granite State.
He remains there while his wife is detained in the Omduran Federal Women's Prison in North Khartoum, Sudan.
She is being allowed to nurse her daughter until she reaches the age of two; the sentence will then be carried out.
The Sudanese court imposed the death sentence after Ibrahim refused to recant her Christian faith. The court found her guilty of apostasy, converting from Islam.
Ibrahim was raised by her Christian mother, but under Sharia law she is considered to be a Muslim because her father was a Muslim. The charge is a capital offense under Sudanese law, but the severity of the sentence drew international outrage and forced pressure on the government.
The Wani brothers became naturalized citizens in 2005.