Sudanese Woman Arrested for Marrying Christian Is Freed Again, Takes Cover in US Embassy

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
June 26 2014 7:26 PM

Sudanese Woman Arrested for Marrying a Christian Man Is Freed Again, Takes Cover in US Embassy

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Meriam Ibrahim and her family go to US embassy after second release.

Photo by -/AFP/Getty Images

Meriam Ibrahim, the 27-year-old Sudanese woman who was imprisoned for marrying a Christian man, has been released from custody for the second time this week. Ibrahim was given a death sentence for her alleged “conversion” to Christianity, but was released from prison on Monday only to be detained at the airport by authorities the following day. She had been held at a police station since Tuesday before being released again on Thursday. Ibrahim, her husband, and their two children are now at the American Embassy, the BBC reports.

One of the conditions of the release appears to be that she must stay in the country. The family was reportedly headed to the US earlier this week when they were arrested at the airport.

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Ibrahim now faces a new set of visa-related charges. Here’s more from the BBC:

She has been charged with forgery relating to the South Sudanese travel document she was carrying, and accused of providing false information. South Sudan's embassy in Khartoum says the emergency travel documents were issued by the South Sudan authorities and are genuine; her husband is a Christian originally from South Sudan and holds US citizenship. However, Sudanese officials say she should have used a Sudanese passport and on Wednesday Sudan's foreign ministry summoned the US and South Sudan charges d'affaires over the issue. The ministry criticised South Sudan for issuing travel documents "despite their knowledge that she is a Sudanese national" and condemned the US for trying to help the woman leave Sudan using "illegal (false) travel document", the Suna news agency reports.

Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.

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