State Dept Spox Told Reporters Meriam Ibrahim Had Only Been 'Temporarily Detained' At Airport (Video)
According to the Daily Mail, the government in Sudan relented once again due to international pressure and released Meriam from jail, where she had been for the last 48 hours.
The Christian mother who was sentenced to death in Sudan for refusing to become a Muslim was finally freed today from her latest detention – and could now come to the US.
Associated Press reported Meriam Ibrahim was freed after 48 hours in jail for problems with her paperwork that stopped her from leaving the African country.
She is now set to fly to South Sudan and from there on to America where she could start her new life.
Yet, State Department Spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters on the 24th that Meriam had been released and was in a safe location after being "temporarily detained for several hours" - based on what the Sudanese government told them.
In truth, she had not been released, she was not in a "safe location". She was in a police station jail cell in Khartoum with her husband Daniel Wani, an American citizen, and their two children, Maya, one month, and Martin, 21 months.
Harf on June 24: "The State Department has been informed by the Sudanese government that the family was temporarily detained at the airport for several hours by the government over issues related to their travel...and I think travel documents. They have not been arrested. The government has assured us of their safety. The embassy has been and will remain highly involved with working with the family and the government. We are engaging directly with Sudanese officials to ensure their safe and swift departure from Sudan, and of course we'll provide more information when we can."
AP reporter Matt Lee: "So temporarily detained. Is it your understanding that they've been released?"
That is what I was going on, Tuesday when I tentatively reported that the Ibrahim family had been released. I made the mistake of believing the Obama State Department. Stupid me.
Matt Lee went on to ask Harf, "were there people from the embassy with them when they were detained?
Although she had previously stated that the embassy had been "highly involved" with working with the family and the Sudanese government, Harf answered that she didn't know. "I can check on that, I'm not sure," she answered.