Sudan re-arrests Christian woman freed from death sentence

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Meriam Ibrahim gave birth to a baby daughter in prison. Photo - AP
A Sudanese woman who on Monday was acquitted of a death sentence against her for being Christian was re-arrested hours later on Tuesday as she tried to leave the country.
Meriam Ibrahim, 27, sentenced to death last month for converting to Christianity from Islam, was released on Monday after what the government said was unprecedented international pressure.
 
About 40 security agents detained Ibrahim – along with her husband, Daniel Wani and two children – at the airport, the sources said.
One of Ibrahim\’s lawyers said she was being held at a security building outside the airport with her husband and two children.
Although she is Sudanese, she was using emergency South Sudanese papers with a US visa, he said.
She would be asked to get a passport and exit visa on her release, he added.
Ibrahim\’s husband is a Christian from what is now South Sudan and has US nationality.
 
Ibrahim was freed by Sudan\’s Court of Cassation on Monday, which annulled her death sentence.
A court also had sentenced Ibrahim to 100 lashes on charges of adultery for marrying Wani, who is a Christian. That sentence was annulled as well.
She was then sent to a secret location for her protection after her family reported receiving threats.
In an interview with the French news agency AFP, Mervyn Thomas, chief executive of Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), said the group was delighted that "the unjust, inhumane and unwarranted sentences have been annulled."
 
But he said the British-based group, which works for religious freedom, was appalled at the "threats and hate speech."
 
"Her alleged brother has publicly stated the family would carry out the death sentence should the court acquit her," CSW told AFP.
Ibrahim, whose father was Muslim but who was raised by her Christian mother, was convicted of apostasy for marrying a Christian. Sudan\’s penal code forbids Muslims from converting to other religions, a crime punishable by death.
Ibrahim married Daniel Wani, a Christian man from southern Sudan, in a church ceremony in 2011. As in many Muslim nations, Muslim women in Sudan are prohibited from marrying non-Muslims, though Muslim men can marry outside their faith. By law, children must follow their father\’s religion.
 
Her release was welcomed by human rights groups and Western governments that had voiced outrage at the death sentence.
Source –  Agencies

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