(Al-Nour mosque, Khartoum)

(Al-Nour mosque, Khartoum, 19 December 2011/simsimt)

A Sudanese court has sentenced a 27-year-old woman to death for converting to Christianity, judicial sources said.

Mariam Yahya Ibrahim had been ordered to abandon her newly adopted Christian faith and return to Islam. She had also been charged with adultery for marrying a Christian man.

Judge Abbas al Khalifa asked Ibrahim whether she would return to Islam. After she said “I am a Christian,” the death sentence was handed down, the judicial sources said.

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

“Sudan is committed to all human rights and freedom of faith granted in Sudan by the constitution and law,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Abu-Bakr Al-Siddiq said. He added that his ministry trusted the integrity and independence of the judiciary.

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