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Sudanese mother on death row released from prison comment (0)

July 3, 2014

JUBA, South Sudan — Meriam Yahia Ibrahim was released from prison in South Sudan on June 23, only to be detained at the Juba airport as she and her family were trying to leave for the United States. By June 26, Ibrahim and her family again were freed from custody, but she could face charges of forging travel documents, punishable by up to seven years in prison. 

Her attorneys deny that her travel documents were forged or fraudulent.

Ibrahim, who gave birth to her second child in prison May 27, had received a death sentence by hanging for allegedly leaving Islam after a Muslim claiming to be a relative accused her of marrying a Christian man — the crime of “adultery” under Islamic law for which she also was sentenced to 100 lashes.

Sudan’s state news agency reported that the country’s Court of Cassation canceled the death sentence against the 27-year-old Christian, who was in prison with her toddler son since February, after defense lawyers presented their case. Witnesses for the defense had been prohibited from testifying during the trial.

Human rights advocates said Sudan must ensure protection for Ibrahim and her family as Islamists have clamored for her death throughout the trial. 

Her husband, South Sudanese national Daniel Wani, has U.S. citizenship, and Ibrahim was given a U.S. visa. At press time, Ibrahim and her family were staying at the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum.

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