No sooner had Sudanese officials informed the world that Meriam Ibrahim had not been re-arrested and would be freed again after the nation’s courts released her from prison than news reports surfaced that she would be charged with fraud and prevented from leaving the country.
She’s out on bail but facing new charges of document fraud.
Sudan’s national news service SUNA said, the Court of Cassation in Khartoum on Monday, June 23, 2014, canceled the death sentence against Dr. Meriam Ibrahim after defense lawyers presented their case, and the court ordered her release.
“We have confirmed through her attorney that she has been released from prison today,” Tina Ramirez, executive director for the Christian advocacy group Hardwired, told FoxNews.com. Hardwired has worked closely with Ibrahim’s family and lawyer.
Dr. Ibrahim was whisked away to a confidential location and that her lawyers will be meeting with representatives from the U.S. Embassy on Tuesday.
A court in Khartoum, Sudan has issued a death sentence to a mother of two who refuses to renounce Christianity for Islam. Ethiopian Orthodox physician, Dr. Meriam Yehya Ibrahim must nurse her newborn baby for two years before being executed for apostasy, but must receive 100 lashes for “adultery”—for having conjugal relations with her Christian husband—immediately after having had her baby.
The daughter of a Christian mother and a Muslim father who abandoned the family as a child, Dr. Ibrahim was raised as a Christian; she never was Muslim. She could have spared herself death by hanging simply by renouncing her Christian faith.
“We gave you three days to recant but you insist on not returning to Islam,” Judge Abbas Khalifa told Ibrahim, according to AFP. “I sentence you to be hanged to death.”
But Dr. Ibrahim held firm to her beliefs.
“I was never a Muslim,” she answered. “I was raised a Christian from the start.”
Dr. Ibrahim was raised in the Christian faith by her mother, an Orthodox Christian from Ethiopia. She is married to Daniel Wani, a Christian from southern Sudan who has U.S. citizenship, according to sources who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The death is an “egregious violation of basic human rights,” said Congressman Chris Smith of New Jersey’s 4th District, Chairman of the House congressional panel that oversees U.S. policy in Africa.
“This is an affront to religious freedom everywhere,” Smith said. “The refusal of the government of Sudan to allow religious freedom was one of the reasons for Sudan’s long civil war. The U.S. and the rest of the international community must demand Sudan reverse this sentence immediately.”
Dr. Ibrahim is reported to be eight months pregnant. She was convicted under the Islamist-run government of apostasy (the crime of renouncing or insulting Islam) punishable by death in some Muslim-majority countries. According to news reports, lawyers representing her told Amnesty International that religious clerics in court had asked the 27-year-old Thursday if she would recant her faith, but she told them: “I am a Christian.” Continue reading