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Conflicting reports on death row woman reflect Sudan 'confusion'

Meriam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag, a 27-year-old Christian Sudanese woman sentenced to hang for apostasy, sits in her cell a day after she gave birth to a baby girl at a women's prison in Khartoum's twin city of Omdurman on May 28, 2014Conflicting comments by Sudanese officials over whether a Christian woman sentenced to hang for apostasy will be freed reflect confusion within the Islamist government, hit by international outrage over the verdict, analysts say. Khartoum is torn between hardline Islamists, who demand the execution of the 27-year-old mother of two, who just gave birth to a daughter in prison, and foreign pressure to free her, Sudanese analyst Khaled al-Tijani al-Nur says. Meriam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag, who was born to a Muslim father, was sentenced to death on May 15 under the Islamic sharia law that has been in place since 1983, and which outlaws conversions under pain of death. Ishag was raised an Orthodox Christian, her mother’s religion, married a Christian man originally from South Sudan and already had a 20-month-old son before she gave birth last week.

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