In response to Report: Meriam Ibrahim Free Again :
Sad to say, the reports of Meriam Ibrahim slipping the noose (and I mean that literally) appear to have been overly optimistic. As of Wednesday afternoon, she was still in custody.
On the bright side, the U.S. State Department is finally involved in a big way… but only because the Sudanese government summoned the U.S. ambassador for a tongue-lashing. NBC News finally got some details about exactly what threat to “national security” is posed by Ibrahim and her tots:
Meriam Ibrahim, 27, was freed from death row on Monday but just one day later Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) re-arrested her at Khartoum’s airport. The NISS, a shadowy and feared institution, said on its Facebook page that Ibrahim and her family had been attempting to travel to the U.S. with documents from the embassy of South Sudan, which split from its northern neighbor in 2011 after years of civil war. It said she was carrying a U.S. visa, and that her attempts to use the documents were considered a “criminal offense.”
Ibrahim’s husband, Daniel Wani, is a naturalized U.S. citizen who said upon his wife’s release that he wanted to start a new life in the U.S. The State Department said Tuesday that officials were working with the Sudanese government “to secure [the family’s] safe and swift departure from Sudan.” However, Ibrahim’s lawyer Elshareef Ali Mohammed told NBC News Wednesday that she had been transferred from NISS to police detention.
The UK Daily Mail says she could be sentenced to seven years in jail for using “false documents” to depart the country that was going to execute her for “apostasy.” If she’s lucky, she’ll only get chained to a wall again, instead of two cars traveling in opposite directions, which is evidently more to the NISS’ taste.
The Daily Mail also reports that her destination was most likely Washington, D.C., and “Sudanese media have claimed that the US vice consul was with the family at the airport” when they got arrested. It’s wonderful how much the global prestige and power of the United States have been enhanced under Barack Obama, isn’t it? But at least somebody is trying to make something happen:
US Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) launched a blistering attack on the government of Sudan on the floor Capitol Hill today in which he said it had ‘forcibly captured’ Dr Ibrahim.
Standing in front of a picture of Dr Ibrahim and her husband, he said: ‘We need to speak even louder, we need to speak out for Meriam Ibrahim because it is wrong, especially for this young mother, to be subject to torture and murder for being a Christian.
‘That is unequivocally wrong and we need to speak in one voice.’
Earlier in an interview with Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, a Christian right think tank, Cruz called on President Obama to do more.
He said: ‘We don’t know what their status is, we don’t know if the Sudanese government is going to reimpose the horrific sentence. It’s a powerful reminder – every one of us cherishes our religious liberty and I bet you to say that virtually none of us have had their faith tested as Meriam has had her faith tested.
‘It underscores the need for all of us to lift her up in prayer and it also underscores the need for US leadership.
‘What I have been begging for is for President Obama to stand up and lead…the President needs to say to the government of Sudan: ‘Free Meriam now”.
Cruz added: ‘Sharia law that would torture and murder a young mother for protesting her religious faith is barbaric, it is wrong and it should be condemned’
What do the barbarians have to say for themselves?
What happens next is unclear – Dr Ibrahim has yet to be granted asylum by the US – but so long as she remains in Sudan her life is in danger.
A man claiming to be Dr Ibrahim’s half brother went to the prison in Khartoum the night she was released and, upon discovering she had been freed, flew into a rage and vowed to kill her.
According to CNN, al-Samani al-Hadi, said: ‘The family is unconvinced by the court’s decision.
‘We were not informed by the court that she was to be released; this came as a surprise to us. The law has failed to uphold our rights. This is now an issue of honour. The Christians have tarnished our honour, and we will know how to avenge it.’
Speaking to Sudanese paper, al-Samani al-Hadi, said that Meriam had been ‘kidnapped’ from the family who she should have been returned to, not her husband.
‘They did not let us know that she was about to be freed. It was a surprise for us,’ he said.
Let’s give them an even bigger surprise, grant Ibrahim asylum, and escort her onto the plane with some guys that NISS won’t want to mess with.