An update on Meeriam Ibrahim, the woman sentenced to death for refusing to renounce her Christianity in Sudan: After being released on appeal, she had been re-arrested, along with her husband (an American citizen) and presumably their children, for trying to leave the country. The family was charged with possessing illegal travel documents, the sticking point apparently having something to do with documents from South Sudan, the rival Christian nation where the husband is from. The couple had an American visa, with the husband having an American passport.
Anyway, after being detained at the police station, the family is reportedly now taking refuge in the American embassy.
The Sudanese Christian woman who was detained by police a day after her death sentence was lifted is reportedly now taking refuge in the U.S. embassy in Khartoum after receiving death threats from inside the Islamic nation.
Meriam Ibrahim, 27, was seen late Thursday leaving a police station carrying the baby she delivered while in prison for refusing to renounce Christianity. The Associated Press reported that she and her husband, who is disabled and was seen being carried by two men, got into a vehicle with their other child and sped away, followed by police cars and two vehicles with diplomatic plates. Attorney Mohanad Mustafa told AFP early Friday that they went to the U.S. embassy.
“She and her husband think this is a safe place for them,” attorney Mohanad Mustafa told AFP.
On Thursday afternoon, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said only that Ibrahim and her family were “in a safe location” and Sudan’s government “has assured us of the family’s continued safety.”
Ibrahim was detained at the airport in Khartoum Tuesday after Sudanese officials accused her of using falsified travel documents in a bid to go to South Sudan. The Sudanese newspaper Al Intibaha reported that Ibrahim’s brother, Al Samani Al Hadi Mohamed Abdullah, told police she was being taken against her will and that her Muslim relatives were not told she had been freed.
“They did not let us know that she was about to be freed,” he told the paper, according to a translation by the U.K.’s Daily Telegraph. “It was a surprise for us.”
Ibrahim was detained with her husband, Daniel Wani, who is a U.S. citizen after the Tuesday airport incident, prompting a flurry of diplomatic activity involving the U.S., Sudan and South Sudan, where Wani is from. Ibrahim’s supporters sought refugee status for her and recognition of U.S. citizenship for the couple’s two children.