As a Sudanese Christian who faced execution for refusing to renounce her faith remains holed up with her family in the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum, a host of religious, human rights and immigration experts have been summoned to Capitol Hill to testify about her plight in the war-torn African nation.
The congressional hearing on Meriam Ibrahim, who gave birth while imprisoned in chains, is aimed at raising awareness of what one lawmaker called a “troubling violation of a basic human right.”
“Meriam Ibrahim has been imprisoned in Sudan in fear of execution, chained during the late stages of her pregnancy, forced to give birth in prison, released from prison and re-arrested on flimsy charges,” Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., told FoxNews.com. “This all is the result of her being Christian in a country in which the ruling authorities refuse to recognize the right of people to choose their own religion. Our hearing will examine this troubling violation of a basic human right.”
Smith, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s subcommittee on global human rights, originally planned to hold the event last month, but it was postponed when it appeared Ibrahim, 27, would be released and allowed to leave Sudan. She was ultimately not allowed to leave the country due to issues with her passport and has since been staying at the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum with her husband, Daniel Wani, and their two children, Martin and Maya.
Other scheduled speakers at the hearing include Zuhdi Jasser, vice chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, and Grover Joseph Rees, former general counsel for the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service.
International outrage in the case has grown since Ibrahim — a physician and the daughter of a Christian mother and a Muslim father who abandoned the family as a child — was convicted of apostasy in mid-May. She could have spared herself death by hanging simply by renouncing her faith, but Ibrahim held firm, telling a judge she was “never” a Muslim.
SOURCE: Joshua Rhett Miller