Meriam Ibrahim, the Christian Sudanese woman who was sentenced to death for renouncing Islam, is free!
Ibrahim has just arrived at Rome’s Ciampino airport, accompanied by her family and by Italy’s deputy minister for foreign affairs, Lapo Pistelli. On the ground in Rome, her flight was welcomed by Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi who said, “Today is a day of celebration!”
The release was reportedly arranged through diplomatic negotiations by Italy and the Vatican.
Ibraham’s father is Muslim but her mother was an Orthodox Christian from Ethiopia; and she was raised in the Christian faith. In 2011 she married her husband Daniel Wani in a church ceremony. Under Islamic law, however, she was considered to belong to the faith of her father; and Muslim women in Sudan are prohibited from marrying non-Muslims. Apostasy is a criminal offense deserving of the death penalty.
Meriam had been forced to give birth while in chains during her imprisonment.
The Catholic Herald reports:
Ms Ibrahim, 27, was flown to Rome’s Ciampino airport with her family and Italy’s deputy minister for foreign affairs, Lapo Pistelli. Italy’s prime minister Matteo Renzi met them at the airport. He said: “Today is a day of celebration.”
Mr Pistelli said that Pope Francis had expressed “his gratitude and joy” at Ms Ibrahim’s arrival in Italy. The deputy minister also said there was a possibility that Ms Ibrahim and her family would meet the Pope before they leave for the US in the next few days.
According to reports, the Vatican confirmed that Ibrahim will meet with the Pope, but the Vatican’s chief spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi, said that “no decision” has been taken about the details of the meeting.