Sudanese woman released from custody

Thursday 26 June 2014 23.23
Ms Ibrahim was sentenced to death last month for converting to Christianity from Islam
Ms Ibrahim was sentenced to death last month for converting to Christianity from Islam

A Sudanese woman who was spared the death penalty for converting to Christianity has been released from custody, on condition she remains in Sudan, according to her lawyer, Mohaned Mostafa.

Mariam Yahya Ibrahim, 27, was detained at the airport in Khartoum on Tuesday, one day after an appeals court overturned a death sentence imposed on her for converting from Islam to marry her American Christian husband.

Mr Mostafa said Ms Ibrahim, her husband and two children had all gone to the US embassy after the release.
              
Ms Ibrahim was detained on Tuesday for trying to use documents issued by the embassy of South Sudan to fly out of Khartoum with her American-South Sudanese husband and their two children.
              
Ms Ibrahim waved at reporters as she and her family left the police station where she had been held for questioning and while she found a guarantor to ensure she did not flee Sudan.
              
"Mariam was released after a guarantor was found, but, of course, she would not be able to leave the country," Mr Mostafa said.
              
 

Despite lifting her death sentence after huge international pressure, Sudan still does not recognise Ms Ibrahim as a Christian and therefore does not recognise her marriage, as Muslim women are not permitted to marry Christian men under the Islamic laws applied in the African country.

Ms Ibrahim's case has been closely monitored by the US and UK, which last month summoned the Sudanese charge d'affaires to protest against her initial death sentence and urged Sudan to uphold its international obligations on freedom of religion and belief.
              
A US spokeswoman has said that Ms Ibrahim had all the documents she needed to travel to the United States.
              
"It's up to the government of Sudan to allow her to exit the country," spokeswoman Marie Harf told a regular State Department news briefing before Ms Ibrahim's release.
              
"We are in communication with the Sudanese Foreign Ministry to ensure that she and her family will be free to travel as quickly as possible."
              
The United States has imposed economic sanctions on Sudan since 1997 over alleged human rights violations. It intensified sanctions in 2006 over Khartoum's actions in its conflict with rebels in the western region of Darfur.