A petition created by law student Emily Clarke protesting against a death sentence given to a Sudanese Christian woman has gone global, collecting more than 760,000 signatures.

Miss Clarke, 20, from Brinkworth, near Malmesbury, was horrified to hear the story of Meriam Ibrahim who was sentenced to death by hanging last month.

The 27-year-old was arrested after a Muslim relative claimed her marriage to an American Christian was not valid under Islamic laws and therefore adulterous.

Sudan is governed by Islamic Sharia law and she has been sentenced to hang for apostasy after refusing to renounce Christianity in court.

Miss Clarke, a second year student at Manchester University, read Meriam’s story two weeks ago and is using social media to boost her campaign.

She has collected signatures from across the world.

She said: “I think it’s horrific and I think it says quite a lot about the things women have to deal with across the world.

“There’s no way this would have happened to a man because they can marry who they want in Sudan. The reaction that I have got from everyone is this is so shocking and how can this happen? She’s done nothing wrong”

Meriam, who married Daniel Wani in December 2011, was pregnant when she was arrested and gave birth to a girl in prison on May 27.

Her lawyers have lodged an appeal against the sentence, which has been condemned by Amnesty International.

Miss Clarke, who wants to become a human rights lawyer, is encouraging as many people to sign her petition in the hope it will be heard.

Her parents Kate and Dave have signed it, as well as her brother Jack, 18, and her sister Rosanna, 16, who are both students at Malmesbury School.

She said: “What I would like is for it to be a tool for her lawyers to say this is how many people are watching across the world.”

To sign the petition go to http://tinyurl.com/nc5llq6