Sudan frees woman condemned for marrying a Christian, then rearrests her

June 24, 2014 • 1:24 pm

(Update at bottom).

I’ve posted before on the Sudanese doctor Meriam Yehya Ibrahim (see here and here), who was sentenced to death in Sudan for marrying a Christian, even though she was raised as a Christian (her father was Muslim). She was also pregnant, and so the sentence allowed her have the child, whereupon she’d be lashed, and then executed when her child was two. Her husband held dual Somali/US citizenship.

There was of course an international outcry, leading to rumors in early June that she would be released, rumors that didn’t pan out.

Now, however, she appears to have been freed, at least according to Fox News and Breitbart.

Fox News gives us this:

“We are happy that Meriam is finally released,” said Al-Sharif Ali, a member of her legal team. “One thing I can say is that Meriam’s strong personality forced the Sudanese judiciary to respect religious freedom.”

Tina Ramirez, executive director for the Christian advocacy group Hardwired, which promoted Ibrahim’s cause, said Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir bowed to immense public pressure and forced the court’s hand.

“We are witnessing a historic moment – in the three decades of President Bashir’s brutal dictatorship millions have lost their lives, yet here stands one defenseless and innocent young pregnant woman who forced President Bashir to respect her dignity and religious freedom.”

Of course the woman now has a target on her back, and she’d better get the hell out of Somalia. The obvious place, given her husband’s citizenship, is the U.S.  This appears to be in the works, and in fact I don’t know why it’s not already a fait accompli:

Sources close to the situation tell that Ibrahim was whisked away to a confidential location and that her lawyers will be meeting with representatives from the U.S. Embassy on Tuesday.

“We obviously welcome the decision by the Sudanese Appeals Court to order the release of Ms. Meriam Yahya Ibrahim Ishag,” Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement. “Her case has rightly drawn the attention of the world and has been of deep concern to the United States government and many of our citizens and their representatives in Congress.”

“This is a huge first step,” added Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organization Subcommittee. “But the second step is that Ms. Ibrahim and her husband and their children be on a plane heading to the United States.”

Breitbart is of course a conservative site, and gives credit to Christians and Republicans:

Really, what has opened her cell door? At this point, I cannot say. But one thing is clear: This is an international victory against Shariah law–and as Shariah law is imposed in a Muslim country. This is no small thing. The stand taken by Christian and human rights groups, coupled with the Republican-led coalition demanding that she be freed, helped.

Of course so did the stand taken by Democrats, atheists, and everyone else who protested. The one true thing is that it’s a victory against sharia law, and shows that international opprobrium can work.  Such death sentences for apostasy are rarely carried out by governments, for they know how they’d look if they killed someone like Ibrahim. The next step is to get them to get rid of those stupid laws altogether. But that’s a tougher business.

UPDATE: I just got this news, via, of all places, PuffHo:

Sudanese authorities re-arrested a Sudanese woman on Tuesday hours after she was freed from death row, and detained her and her family as they tried to board a plane in Khartoum, a security source and her lawyer said.

Mariam Yahya 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.

The security official said he didn’t know the reason for the re-arrest. One of Ibrahim’s lawyers said she was being held at a security building outside the airport with her husband and two children.

Ibrahim was freed by an appeal court on Monday which canceled her death sentence. She was then sent to a secret location for her protection after her family reported receiving threats.

Stay tuned.


24 thoughts on “Sudan frees woman condemned for marrying a Christian, then rearrests her

  1. Such barbarity.

    The death penalty is particularly barbaric, but I’m at an utter loss to even pretend to think of any sort of hint of rationalization that could grant it a discolored veneer of legitimacy in this case.


  2. I wonder, can the US only grant citizenship to someone once they’ve set foot on American soil, or could they just do it in absentia? All they’d need is a copy of her papers. It would be quite a stunt.

    1. Many countries require you to be in the country to appeal for asylum. I think a an embassy or consulate counts though as those, I think, are technically considered the country they represent.

      This is how Snowden ended up in Russia. When he was in the airport, he appealed to other countries which said he had to be present in the country to qualify for asylum (at least that is what they told Snowden).

  3. I’d like to read something like this in a story like this, for a change:

    “____ al ____, a moderate Muslim group, denounced the action, saying, ‘This is so obviously inconsistent with the image we keep trying to sell the rest of the world regarding ourselves that we have trouble understanding how anyone calling themselves a Muslim (or with even half a brain) could do such a thing.'”

    1. As far as I know there is largely silence from news and opinion sources by moderate Muslims. It is as if there is tacit approval, or careful naval inspection, from the Muslim media. If there is such a rare bird as denunciations from the Muslim world about these atrocities, I would love to hear from it.

      1. Totalitarian systems have a great self-correcting mechanism for anyone who objects to their behavior, and it goes, “You don’t like what we’re doing to her? Watch this. You’re next.” L

  4. If the USS Enterprise ever encountered a “civilization” that behaved like Sudan (etc), the Prime Directive would be Right Out.

    1. There was a recent comment I saw at a different web site with a picture of an exasperated Picard, and the caption saying “This Is Why Aliens Do Not Talk To Us’.

      1. If I had the U.S. Navy to do over, that’s the way I would have gone, I think.

        “NAVY”: “Never Again Volunteer Yourself.”

        1. I nearly went to the Marines but backed out before going to boot camp. Can’t say I regret the decision, other than my curiosity as to whether I could’ve handled the physical demands. That and it may lay waste to any hopes of a political career. Imagine a military dodging atheist pansy running for office in America…

          1. An Army guy once told me that “USMC” stands for “Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children.”

            A Marine once told me that “ARMY” stands for “Ain’t Ready (for the) Marines Yet.”

  5. I’d think that Army acronym has some truth to it. My grandfather was a Marine for 29 years spanning WWII to Vietnam. Not a man you’d have wanted to mess with…

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