Meriam Ibrahim: Woman who was freed after apostasy death sentence still detained at airport ‘over forged travel documents’
Family's lawyer says they are expected to be held for 24 hours over 'criminal violation' with visa
Meriam Ibrahim, the Sudanese woman whose death sentence for converting to Christianity was overturned on Monday, is now being questioned by police over the alleged use of forged travel documents.
The mother of two was released this week after what Sudan’s government described as unprecedented international pressure, and her American husband said they looked forward to starting a new life in the US.
But the diplomatic row over Ms Ibrahim’s case has only escalated after she was detained again at Khartoum airport yesterday.
In a statement issued on its Facebook page, Sudan’s security service said that passport police had “arrested” Mr Ibrahim after she presented “emergency travel documents issued by the South Sudanese embassy and carrying an American visa”.
“The Sudanese authorities considered this a criminal violation”, it said.
Read more: What is apostasy?
Meriam Ibrahim forced to give birth 'with her legs chained'
Husband appeals for support to reverse death sentence
Woman jailed for apostasy reunited with husband
Ms Ibrahim's lawyer, Mohaned Mostafa, said that she is expected to stay in police custody for 24 hours.
Speaking from Washington, a US State Department spokesperson said that it was “highly involved” in working with the family and the Sudanese government to resolve the matter, and that the latter had given it assurances regarding Ms Ibrahim’s safety.
Meriam Ibrahim with her husband Daniel Wani The spokesperson said the US believed Ms Ibrahim and her family “have not been arrested”, but rather that they had been detained for several hours “for questioning over issues related to their travel”.
The Sudanese foreign ministry has summoned the US and South Sudanese ambassadors to discuss how Ms Ibrahim came to be issued with the travel documents, security officials said. Under Sudan's laws, forging a document is punishable by up to five years in prison.
It was not known where Ms Ibrahim, her husband Daniel Wani, their 18-month-old son Martin and baby daughter Maya – who was born in jail – were looking to fly, though reports suggested they were likely trying to get to the US via either Cairo or Juba in South Sudan.
In this file image from an undated video Meriam Ibrahim, sitting next to her 18-month-old son Martin, holds her newborn baby girl as an NGO visits her in a room at a prison in Khartoum Monday’s court decision in Ms Ibrahim’s favour came after an Amnesty International campaign supported by more than one million people, and lobbying at the highest level from the US and UK.
It was hailed by David Cameron as a reminder of “how crucial freedom of religion is around the world”.
But it also led to words of caution from US Congressman Chris Smith, who chairs its global human rights subcommittee. He said the release was only a “first step”, adding: “The second step is that Ms Ibrahim and her husband and their children be on a plane heading to the United States.”
- 1 Forget 'The Dress': Here are five of the biggest news stories you might have missed
- 2 The black and blue dress: Makers considering a white and gold version
- 3 Eddie Redmayne in The Danish Girl: First look at Oscar winner as transgender artist
- 4 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 5 The remarkable archaeological underwater discovery that could open up a new chapter in the study of European and British prehistory
Boris Nemtsov shot dead: Outspoken Putin critic who had expressed fears for his life is killed near the Kremlin
Leonard Nimoy dead: Star Trek Spock actor dies after suffering lung disease
PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin, says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
White and gold or blue and black – what colour is the dress? An eyewitness gives a definitive answer
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
Half of Ukip voters say they are prejudiced against people of other races
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Aqsa Mahmood branded a 'disgrace' by her parents after claims she recruited three UK girls flying to Middle East
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: EXETER - A great new opportunity with real pot...
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: EXETER - An outstanding senior opportunity for...
salary equal to £40K pro-rata: Sauce Recruitment: Are you available to start a...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Creative Front-End Developer - Claph...