Meriam Ibrahim released on bail

Published 26 June 2014  |  
Gabriel Wani/Facebook
Meriam Yehya Ibrahim

Sudanese authorities have released Meriam Ibrahim from police custody on bail after several days of tense negotiations by her legal team.  

However, the plight of the Sudanese Christian mother of two is not over yet as Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) reports that Ibrahim still stands charged with forgery and provision of false information under article 123 and 97 of the 1991 Criminal Code, due to alleged irregularities with her travel documents.

Her husband, Daniel Wani, has been charged as an accessory to the alleged offences.

The charges have been levelled against them by the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS), and in spite of the South Sudanese embassy verifying the legitimacy of Ibrahim's travel documents.

Her lawyers further argue that there is no legal basis for the charges because article 97 relates to the provision of false information to a Sudanese official, as opposed to a South Sudanese official.

CSW's chief executive Mervyn Thomas said, "We welcome the decision to release Mrs Ibrahim and her family on bail but continue to be deeply concerned about their treatment.

"Mrs Ibrahim and Mr Wani's extended detention, despite the provision of credible evidence by relevant officials from the South Sudanese embassy that negates every allegation levelled against them, violates Sudan's criminal procedures as well as article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Sudan is a signatory.

"We call for the charges against Mrs Ibrahim and Mr Wani to be dropped and urge the Sudanese government to allow the family to leave the country unhindered."

Ibrahim has been fighting for her freedom ever since being sentenced to death for apostasy and 100 lashes for adultery back in May. Despite her Christian faith, the Sudanese authorities insisted she was a Muslim because this was the faith of her father.

Ibrahim was heavily pregnant at the time of her sentencing on May 11 and she went on to give birth to a baby girl behind bars.

She was freed at the start of the week after a court declared her innocent of all charges but her relief was short-lived as she was once again detained while attempting to leave the country with her husband and children.

The whole family was taken into custody after the authorities accused Ibrahim of forging her travel documents.

Her detention for a second time prompted strong criticism of the US administration for failing to ensure her safe passage to the US, where her husband is a citizen.

There was some confusion as it was reported earlier today that she had already been released from the station.

However, it proved to be another false report. CSW told Christian Today her legal team were in careful negotiations throughout Thursday to secure her release, which happened late Thursday.

CSW says "questions still linger" over the right to religious freedom for all of Sudan's citizens, especially as the country deliberates introducing a new constitution based wholly on Sharia law.

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