The Associated Press reported that Sudanese Christian Meriam Ibrahim and her family were set free again, about two hours ago. Let’s see if it holds up this time. I wouldn’t assume she’s out of trouble until she’s out of Sudan.
Eman Abdul-Rahman, the lawyer for 27-year-old Mariam Ibrahim, told The Associated Press that she was released from a police station after foreign diplomats pressed the government to free her. She was detained along with her husband and two small children, one born behind bars, at Khartoum’s airport on Tuesday while trying to leave the country with her family.
Ibrahim, whose father was Muslim but who was raised by her Christian mother, was convicted of apostasy for marrying a Christian man from southern Sudan in a church ceremony in 2011. As in many Muslim nations, Muslim women in Sudan are prohibited from marrying non-Muslims, though Muslim men can marry outside their faith. By law, children must follow their father’s religion.
Sudan’s penal code forbids Muslims from converting to other religions, a crime punishable by death.
The sentence drew international condemnation, with Amnesty International calling it “abhorrent.” The U.S. State Department said it was “deeply disturbed” by the sentence and called on the Sudanese government to respect religious freedoms.
On Monday, Sudan’s Court of Cassation threw out Ibrahim’s death sentence and freed her after a presentation by her legal team.
The Sudanese government didn’t heed any requests to “respect religious freedom” from the “disturbed” State Department. They found a pretext to let her out of the dungeon she was being held in, by declaring her prosecution “faulty.” Then they arrested her again, for some cooked-up nonsense about trying to leave the country with false travel documents. Religious freedom remains an officially unknown concept in Sudan, as in far too many other places around the world.
I dearly hope some of the “foreign diplomats” who “pressed the government to free her” were Americans.