27-year-old Meriam Ibrahim, who became internationally known after the government of Sudan sentenced her to death for refusing to convert to Islam, is now safe at the United States embassy in that nation after being re-arrested while trying to leave the country.
Ibrahim’s attorney told the Associated Press that Ibrahim had reached the U.S. embassy and was safe–a fact confirmed by an American official speaking on the condition of anonymity. She is said to have sought the embassy for fear of her life, as she and her family had received death threats. American officials are now working to bring Ibrahim to the United States.
Ibrahim was arrested and convicted of apostasy and adultery for having married Christian American citizen Daniel Wani. The former crime carries a death sentence; she was sentenced to lashes as punishment for the other. The arrests happened while Ibrahim was pregnant, and Ibrahim gave birth to daughter Maya in church. Her toddler son, Martin, was also kept in prison with her. Ibrahim’s father, who she has stated she knew very little, was a Muslim, but Ibrahim has always been a Christian and was raised Christian by her mother. Wani has said previously that Ibrahim converted to Catholicism shortly before their marriage.
The Sudanese government overturned her sentence after the story of her arrest spread and international Christian and human rights groups protested against capital punishment being used in her case.
Shortly after being released, Ibrahim left to Khartoum, reunited with her husband, and attempted to leave the country, which resulted in her arrest. According to Wani, authorities attempted to arrest her “without an arrest warrant” and accused her of fabricating documents. The problem appears to have since been resolved, however, as Sudanese officials agreed to let her go so long as she did not leave Sudan.
Wani has told the media that things are “good” at the embassy, the American staff has been “very helpful and very nice,” and the American embassy is now working to bring her to the United States.