Meriam Ibrahim is again a free woman, if the latest report out of Sudan is to be believed. According to the The Guardian on June 26, Meriam and her family have been released from confinement at the Al Sheradee police station in Khartoum.
A member of Meriam’s legal team, Eman Abdul-Rahman, said she had been released after the government had been pressured by foreign diplomats. She had been accused of forging travel documents issued by South Sudan, her husband’s country of birth.
Meriam Ibrahim was officially released from prison and a death sentence for apostasy overturned on Monday. On Tuesday, she was detained, along with American husband Daniel Wani and her two small children, as the family attempted to leave Sudan for the United States. Had she been officially charged with deliberately falsifying travel documents, she could have faced up to seven years in jail.
The death sentence Meriam was under caused an international uproar. She gave birth to her now one-month-old daughter Maya while shackled to the floor in prison. She was to be allowed to nurse the child for two years before sentence was carried out. Due to the world’s outcry, however, she was released and the sentence was set aside. She was also sentenced to 100 lashes for adultery.
The adultery charge stems from the fact that the court ruled that Meriam was a Muslim, although raised by her Orthodox Christian mother. Her father was Muslim, but abandoned the family when Meriam was five years old. She is now 27.
Since the court ruled she was, in fact, Muslim, her marriage to American Christian Daniel Wani was nullified in the eyes of the Sudanese government; therefore, she committed adultery. And since her marriage did not exist to them, her travel documents, legally issued by the government of South Sudan, weren’t legal either.
The charges were initiated by several so-called “male relatives” of Meriam Ibrahim’s who claimed she had married outside her faith, something not allowed in Sudan. Men can, however, marry outside their faith, which is why Meriam’s Muslim father was allowed to marry a Christian woman. Meriam and her family do not know these people or why they would want to bring these types of charges against her. One self-proclaimed half-brother has threatened to kill her since the death sentence will now not be carried out.
All this little family wants to do is to go to the U.S. where Gabriel Wani, Daniel Wani’s brother and Meriam’s brother-in-law, lives. She is a physician and will surely contribute greatly to her community, provided she makes it out of Sudan alive. The prevailing winds in that Muslim country are definitely not in her favor.