Czech officials denounce death sentence for pregnant Sudanese woman

The Czech prime minister has strongly denounced the verdict of a Sudanese court to stone a pregnant woman to death for apostasy. Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said he considered the sentence unacceptable and had asked Foreign Minister Lubomír Zaorálek to make the Czech stand clear to his Sudanese counterpart Ali Ahmad Karti during their meeting in Prague on Thursday. The Speaker of the lower house of Parliament Jan Hamáček has likewise said he will take a strong stand on the issue when he meets with the Sudanese official. A judge in Khartoum last week sentenced a pregnant 27-year-old woman to death by stoning for the crime of apostasy, and to 100 lashings for adultery. The woman was originally charged with adultery only, but the court added the apostasy charge after she told the judge she had been brought up as a Christian and was not guilty. The case has evoked widespread protests from foreign governments and humanitarian organizations.