After being sentenced to death for apostasy, or rather renouncing Islam, 27-year-old Meriam Yehya Ibrahim was set free on Sunday, but several new agencies are now reporting she’s back under arrest.
Ibrahim’s story garnered international attention and outrage when news of her sentence, which also included 100 lashes for adultery for the then-pregnant woman, made news last month.
Although she was raised Christian by her Ethiopian Orthodox mother, Ibrahim found herself in peril because of her marriage to a Christian man. Under Sharia law, Ibrahim was considered Muslim because her father—who had abandoned the family—was a Muslim, rendering her marriage to a non-Muslim void in the eyes of the court.
After months of local and international pressure, Ibrahim was released from Omdurman Woman’s Prison after she was found not guilty of adultery and apostasy.
“Today’s ruling is a small step to redressing the injustice done to Meriam,” Sarah Jackson, Deputy Regional Director at Amnesty International, said. “However, she should never have been prosecuted. Meriam was sentenced to death when eight months pregnant for something which should not be a crime. Furthermore, her abhorrent treatment, including being shackled, violated international human rights law against ill-treatment.”
The appeals court in Sudan found Ibrahim’s death sentence “faulty” and ordered her release. Unfortunately, both Ibrahim and her family have reportedly been taken into custody as they tried to leave the country.
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.
…The security official said he did 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’s attorney said he doesn’t know why she was detained again: “‘We don’t have any information about what charges they face,” he told the Daily Mail. But the National Security force does not have to take them to court. This is not a criminal matter, it a national security matter.”