Amazing way to start your day! My readers know that I’ve been so upset over Meriam Ibrahim, who was sentenced to death just for being a Christian. She was imprisoned when she was pregnant, so they allowed her to give birth — but when she weaned her child, she was going to be killed.
They gave her a chance to save her life — all she had to do was deny her Christian faith.
She wouldn’t do it.
Here’s what made it even worse. Meriam’s husband is an American, which makes her kids American citizens. They also were imprisoned with her.
We are getting credible reports from Sudan, including from her attorney, that Meriam Ibrahim and her American children have been freed from prison. Here’s the latest reporting:
A woman sentenced to death after being accused of converting from Islam to Christianity has been released from prison, according to her lawyer.
The case of Meriam Ibrahim, who is married to a Christian American, triggered an international outcry. She gave birth to a baby daughter, Maya, while in prison.
“Meriam was released just about an hour ago,” Mohanad Mustafa told AFP.
Ms Ibrahim was convicted last month of apostasy and adultery and claimed she had always been a Christian, having been raised by her Ethiopian mother while her Muslim father had left when she was young.
The 27-year-old married Daniel Wani in 2011 and has refused to renounce her faith.
But a court in Khartoum insisted she was a Muslim, and in Sudan such interfaith marriage is forbidden.
She was sentenced to 100 lashes for adultery and to hang for apostasy.
The Daily Mail, which has been on the forefront of pushing this case into the public eye, reported:
Her lawyer Shareif Ali Shareif confirmed to MailOnline that she had been released after the court of appeal in Khartoum accepted her appeal and overturned the death sentence.
‘She has been released from prison and she is on her way home with the children,’ he said.
‘She is very happy and the children are fine.
‘Her husband Daniel Wani is overjoyed. He is so happy he is almost crying.’
He added that for now she was staying in Khartoum.
MailOnline has led the way in highlighting the plight of Ms Ibrahim, who was sentenced to death on May 15. After international pressure a government official said on May 31 that Sudanese officials were working to release her.
She was only finally freed this afternoon.
Ms Ibrahim’s lawyer Mohaned Mostafa said after her release she had been sent ‘to an unknown house to stay at for her protection and security.’
‘Her family had been threatened before and we are worried that someone might try to harm her,’ he said.
In an interview with CNN earlier this month, Al Samani Al Hadi Mohamed Abdullah said that if Meriam was killed, it would have ‘enforced God’s word’ because she broke sharia. He has threatened to kill her himself if she was not executed.
Safwan Abobaker, an activist who works with religious campaign group Hardwired, which is based in the United States, said that the pressure to release Ms Ibrahim paid off.
He said: ‘The Sudanese government was embarrassed by all the attention so they freed her.
‘It’s better for her to come to America now as her half brother said that he would kill her if the court did not carry out the sentence.
‘The Sudanese government needs to protect Meriam and the U.S. embassy in Sudan needs to find a way of bringing her to America quickly.
‘The U.S. government needs to grant Meriam asylum or find a way to let her come to America right away. She needs to come to America.’
The United States had led from behind on this issue like it does on all issues of international import. Meriam’s death sentence came down on May 15. She had her baby under brutal conditions while shackled in prison on May 23. The Obama Regime put out a tepid statement on the 15th, but didn’t join the international outcry until May 30. Earlier this month, Sec. of State Lurch finally screwed up his courage enough to urge Khartoum to repeal its laws banning Muslims from converting.
But Meriam’s nightmare began in September of 2013 when she was arrested on charges of apostasy and adultery for practicing Christianity and marrying a Christian. Her young son, an American citizen was held in prison with her. When her desperate husband reached out to the US State Dept for emergency help in April, he was met with complete indifference.
Daniel Wani described the unconscionable indifference to his wife and family’s plight. Re-affirming what is quite evident, “My wife was never a Muslim,” Wani—a U.S. citizen—pleaded with “the government of the USA to help me.” But Wani claims that when he called the U.S. Embassy on April 9, 2014 a representative in Khartoum informed him of their lack of interest in the case. Noting that the couple’s toddler boy, Martin, is a U.S. citizen by virtue of his father’s U.S. citizenship, Daniel Wani also declared that U.S. Embassy officials in Khartoum have not cooperated in granting the family travel papers to leave The Sudan, and further have told him he must prove he is the father with a DNA test prior to even offering any assistance!
I have tried to apply for papers to travel to the USA with my wife and child, but the American Embassy in Sudan did not help me. My son is an American citizen living in a difficult situation in prison. I will have to take a DNA sample in Khartoum, then send it to the USA for testing. I have provided wedding documents and the baby’s birth certificate, and doors were closed on [my] face.
Hopefully, now that Meriam’s story has been front page news around the world, she’ll have more luck with the Regime on the asylum front.
Via Hot Air:
Ibrahim’s husband, Daniel Wani, holds dual U.S.-Sudanese citizenship, and Ibrahim’s supporters argued that their children, including a daughter named Maya born in prison in May and a 20-month-old boy named Martin who was imprisoned with her, are U.S. citizens.
Sources close to the situation tell FoxNews.com that Ibrahim was whisked away to a confidential location and that her lawyers will be meeting with representatives from the U.S. Embassy on Tuesday.
“This is a huge first step,” said Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organization Subcommittee. “But the second step is that Ms. Ibrahim and her husband and their children be on a plane heading to the United States.”
Also via Hot Air: “The archdiocese of Khartoum had hailed Ibrahim’s fidelity to the faith:
“There are many people trying to persuade Meriam to renounce Christianity in order to be freed, but she is refusing. Some people are pleading with her husband to convince her to abandon Christian faith in order to save her life, but to no avail,” the archdiocese said.
Via Nice Deb:
Meriam Ibrahim, the 27-year-old woman sentenced to death last month in Sudan on charges of apostasy and adultery, was freed from prison Monday and sent to a safe house for her own protection.
An international outcry is credited with embarrassing the Sudan government into releasing her and who two children – a newborn baby girl and a 20 month old son.
Meriam Ibrahim, who is married to a Christian American, gave birth to her daughter while shackled in prison.
A modern saint if ever there was one. The Vatican should start the canonization process forthwith.
Unfortunately the joy was short lived…
The woman who was put on death row in Sudan for marrying a Christian then freed after nine months in jail has been rearrested on Tuesday.
Meriam Ibrahim and her husband Daniel Wani were both held at an airport in the capital Khartoum as they apparently tried to flee the country.
Meriam, 27, a doctor, had only been released from prison yesterday – and going back to jail will cause her unimaginable agony.
Daniel’s arrest also creates a headache for the US government as he is an American citizen who lives in Manchester, New Hampshire.
Secrets: The family were seized by the National Intelligence Security Services, dubbed the ‘Agents of Fear’ by Amnesty International, which accused them of a catalogue of abuses. The NISS is also notorios for taking prisoners to ‘ghost houses’ for torture
The couple were detained by around 40 security agents with their two children, Maya, one month, and Martin, 21 months.
Meriam’s lawyer, Shareif Ali Shareif, told MailOnline: ‘Meriam Ibrahim and Daniel Wani were arrested at the airport two hours ago [about 1230GMT).
‘They are now in the detention of the National Security forces. The family were trying to leave Sudan for a safe place.
‘The children are with Meriam. They were arrested as well.
‘We don’t have any information about what charges they face. But the National Security force does not have to take them to court. This is not a criminal matter, it a national security matter.’
Religious freedom group Hardwired confirmed that Meriam and Daniel had been taken into custody by the feared National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS).
NISS does not operate through the courts if it claims to be working on a matter of national security and can detain people indefinitely, Hardwired said.
The organisation was described as ‘Agents of Fear’ in a damning report by human rights campaigners Amnesty which outlined a catalogue of abuses they had carried out.
NISS is also notorious for taking prisoners to secret ‘ghost houses’ where they are tortured.
Daniel’s brother Gabriel, a naturalized American citizen who lives in Manchester, New Hampshire told MailOnline: ‘This is very concerning. It’s bad news.
‘Barbaric’: As well as the death sentence for apostasy (the crime of abandoning your religion) Ibrahim was also sentenced to 100 lashes for what the court deemed her adultery for marrying a Christian
‘They should be let go as soon as possible. My brother wanted to get out of Sudan as fast as he could, and now this has happened’.
It comes just hours after a picture emerged of Meriam just after her release. The mother-of-two was seen holding her baby daughter Maya who was born in prison whilst she was shackled to the ground.
On her right is her husband Daniel, who beams proudly with Martin by his knee and the couple’s legal team around them.
The photo was taken at the safe house where Meriam was hiding out after people claiming to be her Muslim family said they would kill her.
In an interview with CNN earlier this month – before her release – Al Samani Al Hadi Mohamed Abdullah said that if Meriam was killed, it would have ‘enforced God’s word’ because she broke sharia. He then threatened to kill her himself if she was not executed.
The 27-year-old woman was sentenced to death last month for converting from Islam to Christianity. The case triggered an international outcry. She gave birth to a baby daughter while in prison.
‘The appeal court ordered the release of Mariam Yahya and the cancellation of the (previous) court ruling,’ Sudan’s SUNA news agency said on Monday. The couple’s 21-month-old son was also held in prison with Ms Ibrahim and newborn Maya.
Immediately after she was freed on Tina Ramirez of Hardwired said there was to be a meeting on Tuesday between Meriam’s lawyers and officials at the U.S. embassy in Sudan to discuss a potential move to America – a move supported by US politicians.
Senator Roy Blunt, a Missouri Republican, who had written letters to Secretary of State John Kerry demanding action to help free Meriam, welcomed the decision to release her on Monday – but had called for more action to help her.
He said: ‘I am very pleased that the Sudanese court has reportedly cancelled Meriam Ibrahim’s death sentence and ordered her release.
‘I continue to urge U.S. officials to work quickly and use all resources available to immediately provide Meriam and her family with safe haven in the United States’.
Daniel Wani, Ms Ibrahim’s Christian husband, with their daughter: The couple’s 20-month-old son was also jailed
NINE MONTHS IN HELL: MERIAM IBRAHIM’S LONG ROAD TO FREEDOM
2011 – Meriam Ibrahim, who was raised Christian by a Christian mother, marries Daniel Wani, a Catholic from South Sudan who is a U.S. citizen
September 2013 – Meriam is arrested on charges of apostasy and adultery for practicing Christianity and marrying Wani, a Christian. Her son is held in prison with her
May 15, 2014 – Meriam, who is eight months pregnant, is sentenced to death by hanging and 100 lashes after refusing to renounce her religion
May 23 – Meriam gives birth to baby Maya while shackled in prison
May 28 – Mr Wani meets his baby daughter for the first time. Both children are held in prison with their mother because authorities won’t release them to the care of a Christian
May 30 – U.S. lawmakers join British MPs in calling for Sudan to release Meriam, as international outcry over her sentence increases
June 1 – Sudanese officials raise hopes when they claim they are planning to release Meriam – only to dash it when other officials deny she is getting clemency
June 18 – Sudanese authorities finally remove the shackles from Meriam’s legs at the insistence of her doctors
June 23 – A Sudanese court overturns Meriam’s death sentence and orders her released from prison
June 24 – Meriam, her husband and children re-arrested as they try to flee country
Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-New Hampshire and Kelly Ayotte (R-New Hampshire) had said on Monday in a joint statement: ‘Meriam’s imprisonment and death sentence for exercising her fundamental right of religious freedom was deplorable and a gross violation of basic human rights.
‘We will continue to work closely with Mr Wani to help ensure that Ms Ibrahim and her children are brought quickly and safely to the United States.’
Born to a Muslim father, she was convicted under Islamic sharia law that has been in force in Sudan since 1983 and outlaws conversions on pain of death.
She gave birth just 12 days after the verdict. It had been thought she was still shackled throughout the delivery and beyond, according to the rules which stipulate the treatment of death row inmates in Sudan.
But Mohanad Mustafa, one of Ms Ibrahim’s lawyers, told AFP last week that jailers removed the chains after she gave birth to her daughter.
‘This is on order by the doctor,’ he said, adding that he didn’t think the shackles would be put back on again.
‘After she gave birth the conditions got better,’ said Mr Mustafa. ‘She has air conditioning. She has a good bed,’ he said after he and Ms Ibrahim’s Catholic husband, Daniel Wani, visited her.
Western governments and human rights groups have pressured the Sudanese to relase Ms Ibrahim.
European Union leaders earlier this month called for revocation of the ‘inhumane verdict,’ while Secretary of State John Kerry urged Khartoum to repeal its laws banning Muslims from converting.
British Prime Minister David Cameron said the way she had been treated ‘is barbaric and has no place in today’s world.’
Ms Ibrahim, born in eastern Sudan’s Gedaref state on November 3, 1987, is the daughter of a Sudanese Muslim father and an Ethiopian Orthodox Christian mother, according to a statement from the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Khartoum obtained last week by AFP.
Her father abandoned the family when she was five, and she was raised according to her mother’s faith, it says.
‘She has never been a Muslim in her life,’ said the statement signed by Father Mussa Timothy Kacho, episcopal vicar for Khartoum. Miss Ibrahim joined the Catholic church shortly before she married the Mr Wani in December 2011, the vicar said.
Mr Wani was born in Khartoum but is now a U.S. citizen, the U.S. embassy confirmed to AFP last Tuesday.
In fact, she had never seen those men before, the statement added, in comments confirmed by Mr Mustafa.
Ms Ibrahim, who is a trained doctor, and her husband own a barber shop, a mini-mart and an agricultural project in Gedaref, the vicar said.
Mr Mustafa did not know if there is a link between the businesses and the case against Ms Ibrahim, but he told AFP: ‘Surely there is something behind this’.