26 June 2014

Sudan: Ibrahim Released in Khartoum, U.S. Sanctuary

Photo: Gabriel Wani/Facebook
Wedding photo of Meriam Ibrahim and Daniel Wani.

Sudan has released a woman freed from death row just days ago. Meriam Yehya Ibrahim had been re-arrested on Tuesday at Khartoum's airport as she was trying to leave the country with her husband and two children.

US sanctuary for Sudan death row woman

On Thursday, Alsherif Ali Alsherif, one of four lawyers representing Ibrahim for free, said that authorities finally released the family, which was then reportedly driven to the US embassy on the outskirts of Khartoum.

The US State Department in Washington said merely that the family was "in a safe location".

Re-arrested and then freed

On Tuesday, officials had arrested Ibrahim and her family, accusing them of trying to leave the country with forged travel documents from the US Embassy in South Sudan. The family had reportedly been en route to the United States.

"Meriam has all the documents she needs to travel to and enter the United States," State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters on Thursday. "We are in communication with the Sudanese Foreign Ministry to ensure that she and her family will be free to travel as quickly as possible," Harf added.

In May, a court sentenced Ibrahim, 27, to death for apostasy for marrying Daniel Wani, a Sudanese Christian with US citizenship, in 2012.

Marital union 'invalid'

The union was considered invalid under national law because her father, who abandoned the family when Ibrahim was just a toddler, was a Muslim and children in the country must take their fathers' religion.

In Sudan, men may marry outside their religion, but women are prohibited from doing so. Ibrahim's mother is a Christian and she had grown up in the faith.

In May, Ibrahim went to prison with her and Wani's toddler son and gave birth to their daughter while chained to her cell floor. A court threw out the death sentence on Monday.

(Reuters, AFP, dpa, AP)

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InFocus

US Sanctuary for Sudan Death Row Woman

Wedding photo of Meriam Ibrahim and Daniel Wani.

Lawyers representing Meriam Ibrahim, a woman sentenced to death for converting to Christianity after marrying, and then subsequently freed, say authorities have released the family ... Read more »