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Meriam Ibrahim "free" but not yet allowed to leave Sudan

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Reuters reports that U.S. officials in Khartoum are negotiating with Sudanese authorities to allow Meriam Yahya Ibrahim to leave Sudan.

Ibrahim was recently spared death for her conversion to Christianity. Her case has sparked international interest and outrage.

According to Ibrahim is being accused of using an "illegal [false] travel document" trying to leave the country. She, along with her American husband and their two American children were detained at the airport while trying to leave the country. The younger child, Maya, was born while Ibrahim was in prison. She gave birth while in chains.

The BBC notes, "South Sudan's embassy in Khartoum says the emergency travel documents were issued by the South Sudan authorities and are genuine."

But Sudanese officials say that she should have used a Sudanese passport.

The Huffington Post cites an unnamed source who says, "There are talks going on currently between Sudanese and American officials to try to find a way for Mariam and her family to leave the country." The source said "The talks now are aiming to get her out of Sudan on a Sudanese passport."

A U.S. spokesperson said Thursday that Ibrahim has the necessary documents to travel to the United States.

In answering a question about Ibrahim, Marie Harf, Deputy Spokesperson at the U.S. Department of State said, " We are in communication with the Sudanese foreign ministry to ensure that she and her family will be free to travel as quickly as possible. Again, she had been detained while issues related to her travel and identification documents were sorted out. And from our perspective, Meriam has all of the documents she needs to travel to and enter the United States. It’s up to the Government of Sudan to allow her to exit the country."

Reuters notes, "The United States has imposed economic sanctions on Sudan since 1997 over alleged human rights violations. It intensified sanctions in 2006 over Khartoum's actions in its conflict with rebels in the western region of Darfur."



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