ACLJ Sends Letter to Sudan on Behalf of 350,000 Demanding Meriam’s Freedom


Matthew Clark

June 12, 2014

3 min read




The ACLJ recently sent a legal letter to the Sudanese government on behalf of 350,000 outlining its violations of law and demanding freedom for Meriam Ibrahim and her American children.

Meriam faces torture (100 lashes for marrying an American Christian) and execution for her Christian faith.  She imminently faces the lashes, which could in fact kill her, pending an appeal of her conviction.  After the lashes, if she survives, she will be given two years to care for her newborn baby American girl before she is hung for her faith.

Our letter outlined the numerous violations of Sudanese and international law that her conviction and sentence represent:

The apostasy law by which Meriam was sentenced to death contravenes both the 2005 interim constitution and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), a document that the Sudan ratified more than two decades ago.  By ratifying the ICCPR, the Sudan guaranteed that Meriam and all Sudanese citizens “have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.”  The Sudan guaranteed that under its national laws this right included the “freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of [an individual’s] choice” and to protect these individuals from “coercion which would impair his [or her] freedom to have or adopt a religion or belief of his [or her] choice.”  The Sudan affirmed its commitment to its international obligations in article 27(3) of the 2005 interim constitution, which holds that “[a]ll rights and freedoms enshrined in international human rights treaties, covenants and instruments ratified by the Republic of Sudan shall be an integral part of this Bill [of rights].”  And while article 38 of the 2005 interim constitution states that “every person shall have the right to the freedom of religious creed and worship, . . . to declare his/her religion or creed and manifest the same, . . . [and that] no person shall be coerced to adopt such faith, that he/she does not believe in,” this guarantee is meaningless if not implemented by the judiciary.

Our letter also cuts through Sudan’s disinformation campaign to the heart of the matter.  Regardless of how you spell her name or who her mother or father was, “these foregoing principles remain the same – Meriam has the right to believe and practice the faith of her choice without legal repercussions from the government of Sudan.”

We concluded demanding, on behalf of more than 350,000 people who signed our petition, that Sudan “immediately and unconditionally” release Meriam and her American children.

We will continue fighting for their freedom.  Join us by signing the petition demanding their release at