Meriam Ibrahim, the Christian woman in Sudan who escaped torture and death for her faith, first sought refuge with her family in the U.S. embassy in Sudan’s capital of Khartoum after being detained by Sudanese security in the Khartoum airport. As reported by The Christian Post, Ibrahim was accused of falsifying identification documents but was released on the evening of June 26 with instructions not to leave the country.
Ibrahim was facing death by hanging because she converted from Islam to Christianity and married a Christian man. International outrage over the incident contributed to the appeals court decision to drop the death sentence. The BBC has speculated that the National Intelligence and Security Service, a major player in Sudan’s government politics, was unhappy with the ruling and re-arrested Ibrahim and her family as a way of making the point.
A spokeswoman for the U.S. State Department said it is now up to the Sudanese government to allow Ibrahim to leave the country, saying Ibrahim now possesses all the documents needed to do so, according to international law.
UPDATE 7/2/04: Meriam Ibrahim has reported that her newborn daughter, who was born while Ibrahim was incarcerated, now suffers from physical disabilities because Ibrahim was forced to give birth while in shackles, according to The Christian Post.
“I gave birth chained,” Ibrahim recalled of the traumatizing birth, adding “Not cuffs—but chains on my legs. I couldn’t open my legs so the women had to lift me off the table.”
“Something has happened to the baby,” she continued. “I don’t know in the future whether she’ll need support to walk or not.”
Ibrahim and her family have now reportedly sought refuge somewhere in Khartoum until they can decide on their next move. Ibrahim told CNN that she’s “currently in a safe place. It’s definitely safe but not comfortable.”