Rumor has it that Meriam Ibrahim, the Sudanese Christian previously condemned to death in May for allegedly abandoning her Muslim beliefs, has been released. Again. Yet other reports say she and her family are still in custody. The conflicting accounts leave the world wondering: where is Meriam?
— ACLJ (@ACLJ) June 26, 2014
The most recent news seems to hint that Ibrahim, her husband, and children have, indeed, been released – after 48 hours in jail. Her family is now free to make plans to travel to the U.S, where they can start their life anew.
Via Daily Mail:
Meriam’s release appeared chaotic as the Associated Press initially said she had been freed, only for multiple media outlets and MailOnline sources to say that she was in fact being kept in for another three days.
Hours later it was revealed that she was being freed.
Additionally, Eman Abdul-Rahman, a member of Ibrahim’s legal team, told The Associated Press that she had been released from a Khartoum police station after the Sudanese government had been put under great duress by foreign diplomats to set her free.
More information has come to light that might add to the reason for her rearrest on Tuesday. According to NBC News, Ibrahim’s alleged brother, Al Samani Al Hadi Mohamed Abdullah, claims he “tipped off” police that she had been “kidnapped” by her husband, who desired to whisk her overseas by force.
Via The Telegraph:
He told Sudan’s Al Intibaha newspaper – founded by the uncle of President Omar Bashir – that she should have been shepherded to the family, and not her husband, when she left prison.
“They did not let us know that she was about to be freed,” he said. “It was a surprise for us.”
One might wonder how he knew to call the police if he truly did not know about her release, but we’ll leave that one alone for now.
Ibrahim, her husband Daniel Wani (who holds dual U.S.-Sudanese citizenship), and their two children had been making their way through the international airport in Khartoum Tuesday, but were detained and interrogated by agents from the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) at a national security office as they prepared to leave Sudan. The NISS agents claimed there was an alleged “irregularity” with her documentation.
It is believed that the young family was attempting to travel to Washington DC before they were stopped.
The 27-year-old woman first gained the court’s attention when she was arrested in August 2013 and charged with adultery. She was later accused of apostasy in February 2014 after refusing to recant her Christian faith.
This eventually led to her conviction of apostasy – abandonment of religious belief – in May, and she was sentenced to death by hanging. Additionally, the court found her guilty of adultery – a crime worthy of 100 lashes.
According to her attorney, Mohaned Mustafe El-Nour, she was discharged from prison Monday after an appeals court realized their initial judgment was unjustified.
Al Hadi, her brother, maintains that Ibrahim should be executed if she continues to deny her Islamic faith.
Via NBC News:
[Meriam] was sentenced to be hanged after receiving 100 lashes under the country’s strict Islamic laws, known as Shariah, which were imposed in the 1980s. However, these have been used sporadically, and no one has been put to death for apostasy in the country since 1985.
Ibrahim argued that her Muslim father had abandoned her family when she was six and that she was raised by her Orthodox Christian mother and then married Wani, who is a Christian.
So to recap: this young mother was arrested in August last year, condemned to death in May of this year, and had all charges dropped and released on Monday, only to be rearrested Tuesday and released (again) on Thursday. Oh boy…
It has certainly been a busy and emotional week for Ibrahim and her family. Until we hear the good news of the family’s arrival on U.S. soil, we continue to wait with baited breath.
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom