UPDATE: Sudan Re-Releases Mother Who Was on Death Row

Abena Agyeman-Fisher Jun 24, 2014 at 12:59pm

June 24, 2014 at 12:59 pm | News

Abena Agyeman-Fisher

Abena Agyeman-Fisher | Editor-in-chief, F2FA

June 24, 2014 at 12:59 pm | News

meriam yehya ibrahim ishag released

UPDATED 6/26/14, 9:56 P.M. EST: Detained Mother of two Meriam Yehya Ibrahim Ishag was reportedly released from jail on Thursday, after being stopped from boarding a plane with her family earlier this week, and according to the BBC, Ishag was only released after she agreed to not leave the country.

SEE ALSO: Nigerian Family Sends Man to Mental Ward Due to Atheist Beliefs

On Tuesday, Sudanese officials accused Ishag of forging documents in order to seek asylum in the United States. South Sudan countered this claim, though, arguing that they are the ones who gave Ishag the documents to travel in the first place. Still, due to the accusation, Ishag was held at a police station in Khartoum.

After being released, Ishag reportedly said, “I would like to thank the Sudanese people and the Sudanese police. I would like to thank those who stood beside me.”

But her release was a conditional one: Ishag was only allowed to rejoin her family if she agreed to not leave the country.

Confirming this latest news was Ishag’s lawyer Muhannad Mustafa, who added, “Meriam was released after a guarantor was found, but, of course, she would not be able to leave the country.”

Ishag and her family are currently staying at the U.S. Embassy. When asked what her plans are now, Ishag reportedly responded, “I will leave it to God. I didn’t even have a chance to see my family after I got out of prison.”

Watch news coverage of Ishag’s situation here:

 

____________________________________

UPDATED 6/25/14, 11:05 A.M. EST: With Meriam Yahya Ibrahim Ishag (pictured seated center) being detained by Sudanese authorities at Khartoum Airport on Tuesday — after having her death row sentence annulled on Monday — now the National Security and Intelligence Authority has accussed the Mother of two of forging her official exit documents (pictured below), reports the BBC.

meriam

According to Ishag’s lawyer, Elsherif Ali, Ishag is being held at a police station in Khartoum, Sudan’s capital, for her alleged offense.

However, South Sudan’s embassy is countering the Intelligence Authority’s claims that Ishag forged her documents because, according to them, they issued her travel documents to her.

Meanwhile, the United States continues to work with Sudan in order to negotiate Ishag’s freedom, while her husband, Daniel Wani, and kids reportedly stay at the embassy.

According to Abdullahi Alzareg, a foreign ministry official, Ishag rubbed authorities the wrong way by showing up to the airport in a heavily armored American embassy car with another country’s travel document.

“She came to the airport in an American embassy car, which was bullet proof and heavily guarded,” Mr. Alzareg.

“Everyone knows she is Sudanese. We know she is Sudanese… imagine a British citizen trying to travel wherever, appearing at the airport carrying an emergency document from Costa Rica. This is a violation of immigration law anywhere in the world,” he said.

The proper way for Ishag to leave the country, according to Alzare, is to apply for a passport and exit visa upon release.

___________________________

UPDATED 6/24/14, 1:40 P.M. EST: After being released from prison on Monday, Meriam Yehya Ibrahim Ishag (pictured) was indeed detained as she attempted to fly out of Khartoum airport with her family.

While there are conflicting reports about when this happened, the BBC reports that 40 security agents stopped her and her family from boarding the plane.

Abdullahi Alzareg of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the arrest occurred because she lacked proper travel documents.

Ishag is said to have had emergency Sudanese papers in addition to a U.S. visa.

To make matters worse, Ishag’s lawyers have communicated that they are not being allowed to meet or represent her.

BBC Sudan Correspondent James Copnall says, “It is very possible that the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) did not like the decision to release Meriam Ibrahim, and re-arresting her and her family was a way of making this point to the rest of the Sudanese government.

“Mrs Ibrahim’s release and re-arrest simply underlines the fact that there are many decision-makers in Sudanese politics, and they do not always agree with each other.”

Still, an unnamed top Sudanese official is claiming that Ishag and her family will be released soon.
___________________________________________________

Meriam Yahya Ibrahim Ishag (pictured seated in middle) has been freed from prison, after an appeals court overturned the decision to execute her for apostasy or the abandonment of her Muslim faith.

RELATED: Brother Insists That Sister on Death Row Must Recant Faith or Face Execution

On Monday, Ishag’s lawyer Elshareef Ali told the media that both he and husband Daniel Wani were very pleased that Ishag, who in late May was forced to give birth to her baby girl in chains, had been released, “We are very very happy about this – and we’re going to her now.They have released her…she’s on her way to home.”

In February, Ishag made international headlines for being sentenced to death for refusing to “reclaim” her Muslim faith and drop her Christian husband.

In addition, Wani’s public observations that their nearly 2-year-old son was traumatized by also being imprisoned — Wani was denied custody of the child due to his faith — also electrified both a nation and an international community that called for Ishag’s immediate release.

And while the nation initially appeared resistant to the death sentence backlash, by early June, Sudan showed signs that they would bow to the pressure to release her, with an official going on record to say at the time that they were committed to “protecting her freedom.”

Of her release, Ali added, “It’s a victory for freedom of religion in Sudan…. By Meriam’s strong position, we believe that in the future no-one will be subjected to such a trial.”

Meanwhile, Wani has indicated that he and his family will seek immediate asylum from Sudan in the United States.

This is likely due to (in part) to Ishag’s family, who supported Sudan’s decision to execute her as long as she remained a Christian. In fact, Ishag’s brother, Al-Samini al-Hadi, infamously maintained that Ishag should either repent for her sins or face execution.

Upon her release, Ishag and her family were immediately taken to an “undisclosed location.” On Tuesday, Ishag’s lawyers will reportedly be meeting with U.S. Embassy representatives, with U.S. Secretary John Kerry remarking, “We obviously welcome the decision by the Sudanese Appeals Court to order the release of Ms. Meriam Yahya Ibrahim Ishag. 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.”

RELATED: UPDATE: Officials Hint At the Release of Jailed Mother, Husband Speaks Out on Wife Giving Birth Behind Bars
UPDATED 6/24/14, 1:40 P.M. EST: After being released from prison on Monday, Meriam Yehya Ibrahim Ishag was indeed detained as she attempted to fly out of Khartoum airport with her family.

While there are conflicting reports about this happening, the BBC reports that 40 security agents stopped her and her family from boarding the plane.

Abdullahi Alzareg of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the arrest occurred because she lacked proper travel documents.

Ishag is said to have had emergency Sudanese papers in addition to a U.s. visa.

To make matters worse, Ishag’s lawyers have communicated that they are not being allowed to meet or represent her.

BBC Sudan Correspondent James Copnall says, “It is very possible that the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) did not like the decision to release Meriam Ibrahim, and re-arresting her and her family was a way of making this point to the rest of the Sudanese government.

“Mrs Ibrahim’s release and re-arrest simply underlines the fact that there are many decision-makers in Sudanese politics, and they do not always agree with each other.”

Most viewed

Conversations

Must Read