Meriam Yehya Ibrahim is 8 months pregnant. Her husband is in a wheelchair, and she has other young children. She’s also a Christian living in Sudan.
For refusing to renounce her faith she is kept in a prison, together with her 20-month son, in such appalling conditions that her son is ill from the lack of hygiene.
She has been sentenced to death and flogging. I salute her courage and strength of belief. Her resolve to stand up for her faith no matter the consequences, and I admire the example that she sets for people across the world.
The UK’s Minister for Africa has released a statement condemning that death sentence.
There are times, though, where a mere statement is not enough. What can be done? Perhaps the current levels of foreign aid to Sudan could be used to gain some leverage over this situation? As much as anything, this needs to be seen as a priority for the British government. It’s something where we should be putting pressure on the Sudanese government, day and night, until something changes.
Being involved in politics, there are times when there’s an overwhelming feeling of utter helplessness. I want to make the world a better place, and I hope that others do too (even when we disagree about how to do it). But what can I do, other than highlight the issue? Archimedes once said “Give me a lever long enough and I will move the world”. I don’t have a lever. Maybe the British government does.