Baby’s Bittersweet First Day: Mother Faces Hanging in Sudan

Baby Maya sleeps peacefully in bittersweet first photo with her father.

ByAbc News
May 30, 2014, 10:37 AM

May 30, 2014— -- The baby girl born to a woman sentenced to hang in Sudan for marrying a Christian American citizen met her father for the first time -- a moment that was captured in a bittersweet photo.

Daniel Wani, an American citizen who lives in New Hampshire, held his daughter, Maya, in his arms as she rested peacefully days after being born at a Sudanese prison earlier this week.

The moment of joy was tempered by sorrow because her mother, Meriam Yehya Ibrahim Ishag, has been sentenced to flogging and a death by hanging by a Sudanese court for marrying Wani. The flogging and the death penalty had been delayed until after she gave birth.

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PHOTO: Daniel Wani, with son Martin, after a visit to see his wife, Meriam Ibrahim, in Sudan, May 29, 2014.
Daniel Wani, with son Martin, after a visit to see his wife, Meriam Ibrahim, in Sudan, May 29, 2014.
Justice Center Sudan

This photo of baby Maya was first obtained by the Daily Mail.

Sudan's Islamic court considered Ishag a Muslim and did not recognize her marriage to Wani, a Christian. That constituted a crime of adultery and she was sentenced to receive 100 lashes.

The court also found her guilty of apostasy by converting to Christianity and sentenced her to be hanged.

The couple also has a 2-year-old son named Martin and reports state that the boy had been living with his mother in the prison.

Ishag is considered Muslim by Sudan's courts because her father was Muslim, though she raised by her Christian mother.

Wani and his brother, Gabriel Wani, grew up in Sudan but moved to New Hampshire. He returned to Sudan last week after his wife was condemned to be hanged.

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She is reportedly slated to remain in jail for two years to nurse the child before she is to be flogged and hanged.

The court's sentence has prompted statements of concern from Western governments and human rights groups.

Her lawyers continue to appeal and petition for clemency.

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