UK political leaders have united to urge Sudan to lift the “barbaric” death sentence handed down to a Christian woman accused of abandoning Islam.
A court ruled that Meriam Ibrahim, who was raised by her Christian mother and married a Christian, was Muslim in line with her father – which she rejects.
Prime Minister David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg said the case appalled them.
A Sudanese government official later told the BBC there was no doubt the woman would be released.
Abdullahi al-Azreg – under-secretary at Sudan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs – said the country guarantees freedom of religion and the government was committed to protecting her.
The UK Foreign Office said it was “urgently seeking clarification” from Sudan that Ms Ibrahim was to be freed.
Officials had been urging the Sudanese government “to do all it can” to overturn the death sentence, a spokeswoman added.
Prime Minister Cameron said: “Religious freedom is an absolute, fundamental human right.”
“I urge the government of Sudan to overturn the sentence and immediately provide appropriate support and medical care for her and her children.”
Former Prime Minister Tony Blair described the case as a “brutal and sickening distortion of faith”, the Times newspaper reported.
Human rights organisation Amnesty International has launched a petition calling for the Sudanese government to release Ms Ibrahim.
Meanwhile, former defence secretary Liam Fox said the UK should reconsider whether it was “acceptable” to give aid money to “states which allow treatment such as that handed out to Meriam Ibrahim”.
Thank God, good has triumph over evil.