In an interview with British newspaper The Guardian, persecuted Christian Meriam Ibrahim says her newborn daughter is physically handicapped because she was forced to give birth with her legs shackled to a wall.
Ibrahim, who is currently seeking refuge inside the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum, gave her first interview after being released from her incarceration on charges of apostasy and adultery.
Ibrahim said that she was shackled with chains, not cuffs, and that her legs were forced together by the chains. The guards would not release the chains so that she could open her legs for the birth and her daughter’s legs were injured during the birth.
“I couldn’t open my legs so the women had to lift me off the table,” Ibrahim told the Guardian. “I wasn’t lying on the table.”
Ibrahim said it wasn’t clear yet if the child will need help walking as she grows older because of the injuries.
Sudan is forcing Ibrahim to stay in the country claiming she forged her papers to leave. Ibrahim told the Guardian that she has a document from South Sudan because that is where her husband is from and that is proper under international law. The family has visas to enter the United States when she is able to leave the country.
Meriam Ibrahim, the Christian woman who had been facing the death penalty on charges that she converted from Islam because her father was a Muslim, is reportedly in hiding at the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum while she and her family attempt to leave the country.
Ibrahim had been arrested attempting to leave the country a day after her death sentence was overturned because Sudanese officials say she was using her Christian name on travel documents rather than her Islamic name and had documents from South Sudan rather than Sudan.
Ibrahim was reportedly released on the charges related to her attempt to leave the country on the grounds that she not leave Sudan.
A spokeswoman for the U.S. State Department says it’s entirely up to the Sudanese government to say when Ibrahim can leave the country. Marie Harf said that the State Department confirmed Ibrahim has all the correct documents to leave Sudan according to international law.
A BBC report says that Ibrahim’s arrest was made by members of the National Intelligence and Security Service that was unhappy with Ibrahim’s release from her death sentence. The arrest was reportedly a way to send a message to the rest of the Sudanese government.
Sudanese authorities have released Sudanese Christian Meriam Ibrahim again after her arrest on using what was termed “illegal documents.”
“The airport passport police arrested Abrar after she presented emergency travel documents issued by the South Sudanese Embassy and carrying an American visa,” the Sudanese national security force wrote in a Facebook post. “The Sudanese authorities considered [the action] a criminal violation, and the Foreign Ministry summoned the American and South Sudanese ambassadors.”
Abrar is the Islamic family name used by her relatives.
Ibrahim’s attorney Eman Abdul-Rahman said that she had been released Thursday following significant pressure on the Sudanese government by leaders from other nations including the U.S. State Department.
“We’re encouraged that the State Department is engaged and working to secure the freedom of Meriam and her family,” Jordan Sekulow, executive director of the American Center for Law and Justice, told Fox News. “Whether Meriam and her family have been ‘temporarily detained’ or arrested, holding U.S. citizens against their will is extremely disturbing and unacceptable. It has always been our concern that the only way the Ibrahim family could be truly safe is to leave Sudan.”
Sudanese authorities reportedly stopped Meriam Ibrahim because she used her “Christian name” on her passport and visa to leave for the United States rather than her “birth Islamic name.”
“The State Department has been informed by the Sudanese Government that the family was temporarily detained at the airport for several hours by the government for questioning over issues related to their travel and I think travel documents. They have not been arrested. The government has assured us of their safety,” said State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf.
“The Embassy has been and will remain highly involved in working with the family and the government,” Harf continued. “We are engaging directly with Sudanese officials to secure their safe and swift departure from Sudan, and of course, we’ll provide more information as we get it.”
Ibrahim is reportedly at a friend’s home after bail was posted for her. However, Ibrahim’s attorneys say that if she leaves the country, the government will penalize the person who posted bail.
Tina Ramirez, the founder of the electronic activist group Hardwired, said that the United States is responsible for the problems because they did not coordinate Ibrahim’s departure from the country with the Sudanese government.
A day after being released from prison because her death sentence for apostasy was thrown out by an appeals court, Meriam Ibrahim was arrested at the airport in Khartoum as she was preparing to leave the country with her family.
Elshareef Ali Mohammed, the lawyer representing Ibrahim, said he was at the airport with the family when 50 security force personnel hostilely confronted her and her family. He said the security forces would not give a reason for why they were arresting Ibrahim. He said they knew she had been cleared by the court but arrested her anyway.
She was taken to a detention center with her two children and her American husband Daniel Wani.
A Sudanese court initially convicted Ibrahim for apostasy because her father was a Muslim. The court said it did not matter that she was raised a Christian and had always been a Christian.
The prayers of millions of Christians throughout the world were answered joyously with the release of Sudanese Christian Meriam Ibrahim.
Sudan’s SUNA news agency said the ruling was made Monday morning. The appeals court cancelled the verdict and sentence of the previous court meaning that Ibrahim could be immediately released from prison. She and her children were reportedly taken to a house that was not disclosed to the press for security reasons as she and her family have received death threats from Islamists.
Ibrahim was convicted by a Sudanese court last month of apostacy and adultery because though she said she was always a Christian and married a Christian man, the court said she was Muslim because her father was Muslim and thus could not convert to Christianity or marry a Christian man. Her child proved her adultery in the eyes of the court.
She gave birth to her second child while in prison and was forced to give birth with her legs shackled to the wall.
Ibrahim, married to American Daniel Wani, had been the subject of international outcry with British Prime Minster David Cameron, former PM Tony Blair and former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton calling for her immediate release.
The family has not said if she will remain in Sudan. Her husband had told various news outlets during her imprisonment that they would flee the country if she was ever set free.
A petition calling for the White House to act in the case of Meriam Ibrahim, the Sudanese woman sentenced to death for her faith in Christ, has stalled at just over 50,000 signatures.
The petition needs to reach 100,000 signatures by June 27th to be guaranteed an official response by the Obama administration.
The petition to the White House says in part “We strongly urge the administration to take action in the case of Dr. Meriam Ibrahim, the Sudanese mother who with her toddler and newborn baby (who pending the proper documentation are American citizens), is languishing inside a prison in Khartoum.”
Over 40 Christian groups calling on the Obama administration to stand up for Ibrahim and to finally stand up for religious freedom in general held a rally outside the White House.
Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, who attended the rally, said that Ibrahim represents a major need for the U.S. to stand for religious freedom around the world. He said that the administration has been especially lax when it comes to American Christians who are being persecuted.
If you wish to sign the petition, visit the White House petition site:
An appeals court in Sudan has begun the appeals trial of Meriam Ibrahim, the Christian mother sentenced to death for her refusal to renounce her faith in Christ.
Daniel Wani, the husband of Ibrahim, told CNN that formal notification has been given to himself and his wife’s attorney that the court has begun the deliberations of the case. The formal notice was issued Thursday meaning the court’s ruling could come at any time.
The appeal that was filed by Ibrahim’s attorney reportedly focused on what he termed “procedural errors” in the initial court’s ruling and the actions of the prosecutors.
Wani, an American citizen, has been asking the U.S. State Department to expedite an asylum process for his wife based on religious persecution. He also says that if she is released from prison, it’s very likely Islamic extremists will attack her.
Wani told reporters that after a lack of action from the State Department he has appealed to his state’s U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Kelly Ayotte to take steps to help his wife and children.
A petition to the White House calling for President Obama to directly respond to the situation in Sudan with Christian mother Meriam Ibrahim is rapidly moving toward the required number of signatures.
The petition needs to gather 100,000 signatures within a month for the White House to be required to respond. Currently, the petition has almost 2/3 of the necessary total in just one week.
“We strongly urge the administration to take action in the case of Dr. Meriam Ibrahim, the Sudanese mother who with her toddler and newborn baby (who pending the proper documentation are American citizens) is languishing inside a prison in Khartoum,” the petition states. “We urge you to pressure the Sudanese government to release Meriam and her children so she can escape execution and possible death of her children and be rejoined with her husband in the U.S. Please grant her expedited safe haven in the U.S., where she could seek asylum.”
Ibrahim is married to an American, meaning her two children are American citizens. The State Department has been refusing to take action in the case to get her children brought to America despite the evidence of her husband’s citizenship.
Ibrahim has been sentenced to 100 lashes and then being hung to death for her faith in Christ.
The husband of a Sudanese woman jailed and sentenced to death for her belief in Christ has denied a series of stories in the western press that his wife is on the verge of being released by Sudanese authorities.
Daniel Wani, the American husband of Meriam Ibrahim, said that despite reports in various western news outlets, “only the appeals court” can free his wife and that no release is imminent.
The BBC had reported the possibly release along with comments from Abdullah Alzareg, undersecretary of the Sudanese Foreign Ministry, who said that Sudan guarantees religious freedom and vowed to protect Ibrahim.
Ibrahim was turned into authorities by Muslim relatives after she would not convert to Islam at their demand.
Wani said despite the false reports of his wife’s imminent release, he believes that her conviction will be overturned on appeal.
“I’m hoping that, given the way people have come together around the world – which I want to thank them for,” he said. “All the rights groups, all the broadcasters … It’s looking like it had an effect. Perhaps it will result in the judgment being overturned.”