Mariam Yahya Ibrahim, the Christian woman sentenced to death and later freed after an international outcry, was briefly re-arrested while trying to leave the country for the US before being released again.
Eman Abdul-Rahim, her lawyer, said Ms Ibrahim was held with her two children and husband at Khartoum airport. The BBC said Ms Ibrahim, whose death sentence in May for renouncing Islam sparked outrage, was detained by about 40 security agents. Last night, it was reported that she had been freed.
Marie Harf, a spokeswoman for the US State Department, said the Sudanese government had informed American officials that Ms Ibrahim and her family were “temporarily detained” over issues relating to their travel documents.
The family was held 24 hours after Ms Ibrahim’s husband, Daniel Wani, who has US citizenship, said they would go to America following his wife’s release.
The US says it is working with Sudan to ensure a woman freed from death row can leave the country, amid confusion over whether she is still being held.
Meriam Ibrahim was detained at Khartoum airport, then apparently released.She had been sentenced in May to hang for renouncing Islam – sparking widespread outrage at home and abroad – but was released from jail on Monday.
Mrs Ibrahim’s husband is a Christian from what is now South Sudan and has US nationality.
About 40 security agents detained Mrs Ibrahim, husband Daniel Wani and two children at the airport, sources said.
“They were temporarily detained for several hours over questions related to their documents,” Marie Harf, a spokeswoman for the US state department, told journalists.
Sudan’s government had assured the US that Mrs Ibrahim and her family were safe, Ms Harf added.
But Reuters later quoted a lawyer as saying that Mrs Ibrahim had been taken to a police station for questioning over providing false information.
Earlier, a top Sudanese official told the BBC that although Mrs Ibrahim is Sudanese, she was using emergency South Sudanese papers with a US visa.
She would be asked to get a passport and exit visa on her release, Abdullahi Alzareg from the ministry of foreign affairs said.