A MOTHER facing the death penalty in Sudan for marrying a Christian is understood to be on the verge of being freed.

The case of Meriam Ibrahim sparked international condemnation from world leaders after a Sudanese court ruled the then heavily pregnant woman would face the death penalty for refusing to renounce her Christian faith. The court ruled she was to be given 100 lashes and then hanged after she had given birth.

Ms Ibrahim, a doctor, gave birth to a girl while in prison last week and is expected to be freed from custody this week, according to a foreign ministry spokesman.

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Ms Ibrahim, aged 27, was brought up as an Orthodox Christian by her mother and married a Christian, but the court ruled she should be regarded as Muslim because it had been her father's faith - a charge she denied.

"I am a Christian. I did not convert from Islam," she told the Haj Yousif court in Khartoum.

In refusing to renounce her faith, her Christian marriage in 2011 to Daniel Wani, a US citizen, was annulled and she was sentenced to death for apostasy. Sex outside a "lawful relationship" is also regarded as adultery in Sudanese law.

Speaking from jail after being sentenced, she said: "I don't want anything. I just want to be outside this prison. I want to be free."