American rushes to Sudan to prevent his 8-months pregnant wife from being hanged for refusing to convert to Islam

. Doctor Mariam Yahya Ibrahim Ishag, 27, was sentenced to death last week for refusing to renounce her Christian faith
• Ishag is considered a Muslim by the court because her father was a Sudanese Muslim despite her being raised by a Christian mother
• Her husband Daniel Wani was born in war-torn Sudan but came to the U.S. in 1998. He settled in Manchester, New Hampshire
• Mr Wani is at the family home in Khartoum fighting for his wife’s life but also believes his own life to be in grave danger
• he White House said it strongly condemned the sentence and urged the Government of Sudan to meet its obligations under international human rights law

mariam yaheya 

An American citizen has rushed to his native Sudan to save his eight-months pregnant wife from being hanged after she was sentenced to the death penalty.

She was sentenced to 100 lashes because the Sudanese court does not recognize her marriage to Mr Wani, as they consider Ishag a Muslim.

The pregnant woman, who already has a toddler son, was subsequently sentenced to death after being found guilty of apostasy for converting to Christianity. The decision led to international outcry when it was decided last week.

Ishag is considered Muslim by the Sudanese court because her father was a Sudanese Muslim. However the woman was raised by her Ethiopian Christian mother after he left.

The sentence has been put on hold until she has given birth.

Mr Wani now lives in Manchester with his brother Gabriel, who told ABC that his sibling had returned home to do everything he could to save his wife.

Gabriel Wani said: ‘I’m just praying for God. He can do a miracle. Everyone is depressed. You don’t believe it. It’s shock.’

Gabriel Wani said that his brother was at the family’s home in Khartoum where he was trying to work iwith the U.S. Embassy to appeal his wife’s sentence.

Daniel Wani was in fear for his life, his brother said and believed he was being watched.

Gabriel Wani told the Union Leader that he and his brother had come to the U.S. in 1998 to flee war-ravaged Sudan.

Daniel Wani has been a U.S. citizen since 2005 and last summer went to Sudan to arrange for his wife and son to join him in New Hampshire.

MailOnline was awaiting a comment from the U.S. Department of State.

At last Thursday’s sentencing, Judge Abbas al Khalifa asked the pregnant, mother-of-one whether she would return to Islam – but she refused.’

She said: ‘I am a Christian,’ and the death sentence was handed down.

After the verdict her husband, Daniel Wani told CNN: ‘I’m so frustrated. I don’t know what to do. I’m just praying.’

A government spokesman said the ruling could be appealed in a higher court.

Outside the court, around 50 people held up signs that read Freedom of Religion while some Islamists celebrated the ruling, chanting: ‘God is Greatest.’

On February 7, Ishag was arrested with her 20-month-old son and put in a women’s prison. It is thought a relative had turned her in to the police for marrying a Christian.

Mr Wani is not allowed to care for their son Martin because he is a Christian and not allowed to visit him.

According to the Sudan’s Public Order Criminal Code, she is a Muslim by default because she was born in Sudan.

Sudanese university students have protested near Khartoum University in recent weeks asking for an end to human rights abuses, more freedoms and better social and economic conditions in the country.

Western embassies and Sudanese activists sharply condemned the accusations and called on the Sudanese Islamist-led government to respect freedom of faith.

‘The details of this case expose the regime’s blatant interference in the personal life of Sudanese citizens,’ Sudan Change Now Movement, a youth group, said in a statement.

President Omar Hassan al-Bashir’s government is facing a huge economic and political challenge after the 2011 secession of South Sudan, which was Sudan’s main source of oil.

A decision by Bashir last year to cut subsidies and impose austerity measures prompted violent protests in which dozens were killed and hundreds were injured.

The White House said that it strongly condemn the sentence and urged the Government of Sudan to meet its obligations under international human rights law.

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