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Sudanese Woman to be Freed

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  • #16
    She was apparently issued travel documents by the South Sudan embassy and had a US visa.

    According to Seif Yasin, a spokesman for the Sudanese Embassy in Washington, "Ibrahim is free to leave Sudan, she just has to do it legally. It is regrettable and disturbing that some elements attempted to bring Meriam to U.S by issuing her an entry visa on a fraudulent traveling document obtained from a foreign country. That is inexcusable and unnecessary violations for all laws and regulations, including U.S. ones. The same legal system that protects her right and secures her freedom is capable of guaranteeing her right to leave the country whenever the legal procedure comes to an end."


    • #17

      Mariam Ibrahim has been charged with forgery and making false statements. The South Sudan government says the document above is genuine. Although her husband is from South Sudan, Mariam is from Sudan and Sudanese authorities say she should have obtained bona-fide travel documents from Sudan to leave the country.

      According to reports, Mariam Ibrahim arrived at the airport in a US embassy vehicle and the document above was stamped with a US entry visa.


      • #18
        Further developments. She is free again & in the US Embassy. Arms have been twisted. Looks like she will have to stay there until this BS with the travel documents is sorted out. No idea how long it will take, but it may be that this is an attempt to jail her as 'payback'. I am wondering if there are different parts of the Sudanese government working for different ends here.

        A Sudanese woman whose death sentence for marrying a Christian was overturned has been released from jail again, after she was detained at Khartoum airport on Tuesday.

        Meriam Ibrahim's lawyer, Muhannad Mustafa, said that she was currently in the US embassy with her family.

        Mrs Ibrahim had been detained on charges of falsifying ID documents.

        She was first released on 23 June when an appeals court lifted her death sentence for renouncing Islam.

        Her sentencing in May to hang for apostasy sparked an outcry at home and around the world.

        Mrs Ibrahim, 27, had been held at a police station in the capital, since Tuesday, when she was prevented from leaving the country along with her husband, Daniel Wani, and their two children.

        She had reportedly planned to travel to the US with her family.

        According to Reuters news agency, quoting her lawyer, Mrs Ibrahim was released on the condition that she remains in Sudan.

        "Mariam was released after a guarantor was found, but, of course, she would not be able to leave the country," Mr Mustafa said.

        She has been charged with forgery relating to the South Sudanese travel document she was carrying, and accused of providing false information.

        South Sudan's embassy in Khartoum says the emergency travel documents were issued by the South Sudan authorities and are genuine; her husband is a Christian originally from South Sudan and holds US citizenship.

        However, Sudanese officials say she should have used a Sudanese passport and on Wednesday Sudan's foreign ministry summoned the US and South Sudan charges d'affaires over the issue.

        The ministry criticised South Sudan for issuing travel documents "despite their knowledge that she is a Sudanese national" and condemned the US for trying to help the woman leave Sudan using "illegal (false) travel document", the Suna news agency reports.

        Meriam Ibrahim and her husband, Daniel Wani The couple got married in a church after meeting in 2011
        Sudan's National Security and Intelligence Authority is reported to have lodged the complaint against Mrs Ibrahim.

        BBC correspondents say that now Sudan's intelligence agency is involved, Mrs Ibrahim's case is likely to be more difficult and complicated to resolve.
        BBC News - Meriam Ibrahim: Sudan 'apostasy' woman freed again

        Win nervously lose tragically - Reds C C


        • #19
          ...and the story concludes with a happy ending. The Sudanese government was playing stupid games, but eventually succumbed to pressure & let her go. Happy ending.

          Meriam Ibrahim had come to expect the unexpected.

          First she was thrown into prison on charges of apostasy - renouncing your faith - which many saw as an attempt by distant family to get hold of her business interests. Then on May 15 she was sentenced to hang for the crime of abandoning Islam - even though she maintained she had never been a Muslim in the first place.

          She was released by Sudan’s supreme court on June 23, yet when she tried to leave the country three days later, she was detained once more - accused of forging her travel documents.

          But the events of the past 24 hours must surely have shocked even her.

          Ms Ibrahim, 27, was told late on Wednesday night that she was leaving Sudan - but had no idea where she was going.

          “She had very little time,” said Elshareef Ali Mohammed, her lawyer, who has been trying to secure Ms Ibrahim’s freedom since she was arrested in December.

          “She wanted to tell people she was leaving, but there was not time - and she didn’t even know where she was going.”

          And by Thursday, having never left Sudan before, she found herself in Rome, greeted by Pope Francis in the Vatican.

          “I couldn’t believe it,” she told Antonella Napoli, head of Italians for Darfur, according to La Repubblica. “I realised the greatest dream of my life - to meet the Pope.”

          Mr Elshareef told The Telegraph that Ms Ibrahim would remain in Rome for several days to recuperate with her family - her husband Daniel Wani, 20-month-old son Martin, and daughter Maya, born in a Khartoum prison.

          The family were expected to visit the Colosseum on Friday, according to Corriere Della Sera, before flying in the next few days to the United States - where Mr Wani has his home, in New Hampshire.

          “The US government is providing consular assistance to the family but we have no other information at this time,” a spokesman for the American embassy told The Telegraph.

          For Ms Ibrahim’s supporters back in Sudan, the moment she finally left the country was one of jubilation.

          “Nobody from the government knew until the plane had taken off - except the minister of foreign affairs. And I expect he told the president,” said Mr Elshareef.

          “Last week a group made a threat to attack the US embassy, where they had been living, so we couldn’t take any chances.”

          Unbeknown to Ms Ibrahim and her family - who had been sheltering in the American embassy since they were detained while trying to leave the country in June - the past few months had seen an intense round of diplomatic wrangling.

          The American authorities were trying to secure permission for the family to travel to the US - but were encountering resistance from President Omar al-Bashir’s authoritarian regime.

          “The Sudanese government appears to be trying to get something out of the US in order to release her,” said Tina Ramirez at the time, executive director of Hardwired - an American organisation which has been campaigning for her release.

          South Sudan offered to mediate, because Mr Wani was born in the South, but their efforts were rebuffed by Khartoum. The Italians, as current holders of the rotating EU presidency, and with the moral authority of the Pope, then stepped in to try and secure her release.

          “It was a political deal, which we started discussing a long time ago,” explained Mr Elshareef.

          “The Sudanese government thought that they have a good relationship with Italy, so they would let her go.”

          A plane was sent from Rome, with the deputy foreign minister, Lapo Pistelli, to bring the family to Italy.

          “It’s a human rights issue,” a spokesman for the Italian foreign ministry told The Telegraph. “We genuinely wanted to help.”

          Mr Pistelli said: “We didn’t tell her anything until the last minute because we didn’t want to run the risk of disappointing her if something had gone wrong.”

          He said Italy had been in constant contact with the Sudanese over the case, through their ambassador in Khartoum, Armando Barucco, who said Italy’s efforts were “appreciated by the Americans”.

          The Sudanese called the Italians to say there was a “diplomatic window” and they were prepared to hand over her passport, so that she could travel.

          “I informed the prime minister and foreign minister and it was decided that we should leave for Khartoum immediately,” said Mr Pistelli.

          “We neither paid [the Sudanese] nor promised them anything. We know how to engage in politics without opening up the wallet.”

          Mr Pistelli posted a photograph of the family on board the plane on his Facebook page - with the caption: “Mission accomplished”.

          Mr Elshareef said: “They were so very happy when they knew they would finally be leaving Sudan. It has been incredibly difficult for them all.

          “We didn’t dare believe it was actually going to happen until the plane took off. Then we were all celebrating.”

          The charges against Ms Ibrahim have not been dropped however, he said.

          The Supreme Court is still weighing an appeal against her acquittal for apostasy, after her brother challenged the quashing of the case.

          And the charges of forging her documents also stood, pending full investigation.

          The couple’s lawyers were hopeful that all charges would be abandoned, however, as the family was in any case unlikely to risk returning to Sudan.

          “I’ve always had my faith - and my love for my husband, a gift from God,” said Ms Ibrahim, according to La Repubblica. “When I was asked to renounce my Christian faith, I knew what I was risking [in refusing to do so]. But I didn’t want to renounce it.

          “With my family, I will start a new life. We are going to move to New Hampshire, where my brother-in-law Gabriel lives. He will help us. We’ll all be together, like a proper family.

          “Thank you Italy. Thanks to God, we are all well.”
          Meriam Ibrahim leaves Sudan for Rome: ’It was top secret until the plane took off’ - Telegraph

          Win nervously lose tragically - Reds C C


          • #20
            I have been preoccupied with more pressing matters and neglected to post this. My apologies.

            Meriam Ibrahim, Christian threatened with execution in Sudan, arrives in US
            31 July 2014

            Meriam Ibrahim and her husband Daniel Wani after arriving in the United States

            A Sudanese woman who refused to recant her Christian faith in the face of a death sentence arrived on Thursday in the United States, where she was welcomed first by the mayor of Philadelphia as a “world freedom fighter” and later by cheering supporters waving US flags in New Hampshire. Meriam Ibrahim flew from Rome to Philadelphia with her husband and two children, en route to the New Hampshire city of Manchester where her husband has family and where they will make their new home. Her husband, Daniel Wani, his face streaked with tears, briefly thanked New Hampshire’s Sudanese community on his family’s behalf and said he appreciated the outpouring of support.

            Ibrahim had been sentenced to death over charges of apostasy, the abandonment of a religion. Her father was Muslim and her mother was an Orthodox Christian. She married Wani, a Christian from southern Sudan, in 2011. Muslim women in Sudan are prohibited from marrying non-Muslims. By law children must follow their fathers’ religions. Sudan initially blocked Ibrahim from leaving the country even after its highest court overturned her death sentence in June. The family took refuge at the US embassy in Khartoum and after eventually leaving the country she met Pope Benedict in the Vatican.

            There are about 500 Sudanese already living in Manchester, which is just north of the Massachusetts state line. Ibrahim’s husband, who previously lived in New Hampshire, had been granted US citizenship when he fled to the United States as a child to escape civil war. He later returned and was a citizen of South Sudan.

            Welcome to the United States Meriam!

            Kudos to everyone - especially the USG - that made this possible :)