By BosNewsLife Africa Service
KHARTOUM, SUDAN (BosNewsLife)– A Sudanese Christian woman whose death sentence for leaving Islam was overturned has been released after being detained again for trying to leave Sudan, her defense team said.
Meriam Ibrahim, 27, was seen walking out of a Khartoum police station carrying her newborn baby, after several governments pressured Sudan to release her.
Authorities told her however she has to stay in the African nation after she allegedly “forged documents”, several sources said.
Reporters said Ibrahim was accompanied by her husband, who is disabled and being carried by two men into a vehicle with their other child. They sped away, followed by police cars and two vehicles with diplomatic plates.
She was detained at Khartoum airport on Tuesday, June 24, a day after an appeals court
overturned a sentence of 100 lashes followed and death by hanging for having embraced the Christian faith and leaving Islam and marrying her Christian American husband.
Ibrahim’s lawyer Eman Abdul-Rahman confirmed that she was freed after foreign diplomats and governments, ranging from the United States to the Netherlands, pressed the Sudanese leadership to free her.
The U.S. State Department said “We are in communication with the Sudanese Foreign Ministry to ensure that she and her family will be free to travel as quickly as possible,” apparently to the United States.
Her husband, Daniel Wani, had been trying to take his family with him.
“From our perspective, Meriam has all of the documents she needs to travel to and enter the United States. It is up to the government of Sudan to allow her to exit the country,” said Marie Harf, the State Department spokesperson.
In Europe, the Netherlands was among those complaining about the detention. Dutch Foreign Minister Hans Timmermans summoned the Sudanese ambassador to complain about the re-arrest of Ibrahim, after Parliament asked him to do so.
Her case has underscored concerns about Sudan still not recognizing Ibrahim as a Christian.
The country therefore does not recognise her marriage, as Muslim women are not permitted to marry Christian men under the Islamic laws applied in the African country.
Sudan’s Islamist President Omar Bashir has warned that he wants to implement Islam more strictly, after the heavily Christian southern region broke away to become South Sudan, the world’s youngest country.
South Sudan, which has a majority Christian population, became independent from the mostly Muslim north after a referendum in 2011 that ended years of civil war.