Friday, June 27, 2014

A Sudanese Christian woman who initially faced a death sentence after refusing to renounce her faith is now at the U.S.


Mariam Yehya Ibrahim and her husband, American Daniel Wani, were freed from custody Thursday after having been detained two days earlier upon arriving at the airport in the Sudanese capital. Their two children are with them.
The family was trying to get to the United States
 Ibrahim was accused of two criminal counts, traveling with falsified documents and giving false information, according to her legal team.
Tuesday's detention at the airport came a day after Ibrahim's legal team announced the 27-year-old woman had been released from prison following weeks of international controversy over her conviction on apostasy and adultery charges. Her death sentence had been overturned before that release.
It's not clear what will come next for Ibrahim, who has been given a U.S. visa.
In an interview with the BBC on her way to the embassy, Ibrahim did not offer specifics when asked about her future. "I will leave it to God," she said. "I didn't even have a chance to see my family when I got out of prison."
U.S. State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf confirmed Ibrahim had been released on bail, saying, "She and her family are in a safe location, and the government of Sudan has assured us of the family's continued safety."
Harf said that the U.S. Embassy "remains highly engaged" in the woman's case. "We will provide more information as it becomes available consistent with privacy laws," she said.
Sudanese authorities said Ibrahim was detained because of the documents she submitted.
Sudan's National Intelligence and Security Services said that she had South Sudanese travel documents despite not being a citizen of South Sudan, and she was heading to the United States, which is not her native country.
"This was considered illegal by the Sudanese authorities, who have summoned both the U.S. and South Sudanese ambassadors," the agency said in a message posted this week on its Facebook page