Meriam Yehya Ibrahim apostasy sharia law Sudan
Daniel Wani with his wife Meriam Yehya Ibrahim, sentenced to death for refusing to renounce her Christian faithGabriel Wani/Facebook

The British government has called on Sudan to release Meriam Ibrahim on bail to allow her appeal against her death sentence for apostasy.

While pregnant, Ibrahim was sentenced to death and 100 lashes after converting to Christianity from Islam, which is illegal under Sudan's strict sharia law.

The UK international development secretary Justine Greening condemned Ibrahim's sentence for changing her religious beliefs and called for her release.

"The Sudanese government are now saying due process needs to be followed and an appeal will go through. Meriam should be released pending that appeal," Greening said.

"She should be released full stop, but if the Sudanese government are saying that due process will happen, then she should be out of prison whilst that appeal takes place."

There are now rumours that she has renounced Christianity with Sudanese officials claiming Ibrahim had "recanted" her newly-found Christian beliefs and would be allowed to rejoin the Islamic faith.

Her lawyers disputed the officials' claims. "It is not true," said Al-Shareef Ali Mohammed, one of five members on her legal team.

Despite criticism that the British Department for International Development (DFID) was still contributing aid to Sudan in light of human rights abuses, Greening said removing aid would not help Ibrahim's situation.

"Cutting aid will not help Meriam's family or the thousands of other vulnerable [people] that we give aid to in Sudan. None of our aid goes through the Sudanese government, but through tried and tested international agencies," she said.

"You don't improve people's human rights by taking away vital things they depend on, such as food, water, shelter and education.

"No one would say that we should stop helping people in Syria because of President Assad's regime. Sudan is no different. We are absolutely right to provide humanitarian support to the people of Sudan."

It was reported that Ibrahim gave birth to her second child while in chains at a Khartoum prison, sparking global outrage.

She claims that she was raised as a Christian but Sudanese officials sentenced her after stating that she must have been a Muslim because her father's faith was Islam.