(Photo: Facebook/Gabriel Wani)
A defiant Christian woman in Sudan who was sentenced to death while pregnant for refusing to renounce her faith and converting to Islam, is expected to be released within days.
The BBC reported Saturday that Sudanese officials announced that Meriam Ibrahim, 27, who gave birth to a baby girl in custody this week, is to be freed.
Abdullah Alzareg, an under-secretary at the Foreign Ministry, said Sudan guaranteed religious freedom and vowed to protect the young mother.
Meriam's death sentence was expected to be carried out two years after the birth of her baby along with 100 lashes for marrying Christian U.S. citizen Daniel Wani and practicing Christianity.
An Islamic Sharia Judge had given her the opportunity to avoid the death sentence by renouncing Christ and becoming a Muslim but she defiantly rejected the offer choosing to face death by hanging instead.
"If they want to execute me then they should go ahead and do it because I'm not going to change my faith," she said in an earlier report.
"I refuse to change. I am not giving up Christianity just so that I can live. I know I could stay alive by becoming a Muslim and I would be able to look after our family, but I need to be true to myself," she added.
Despite being a Christian himself, her husband Daniel said his wife's resolve was amazing because she didn't even "flinch" when she was sentenced to death.
"My wife is very, very strong. She is stronger than me. When they sentenced her to death I broke down and tears were streaming down my eyes. Our lawyers were passing me tissues. But she stayed strong. She did not flinch when she was sentenced. It was amazing to see, particularly because she is the one facing the death penalty," he had said.
In an interview with The Telegraph after the birth of their daughter this week, Daniel said he was upset about the way his wife was treated when she gave birth at the Omdurman Federal Women's Prison in North Khartoum, Sudan.
"They kept a chain on her legs. She is very unhappy about that," he said.