Sudan Charges Christian Woman Meriam Ibrahim wiith 'Fraud' After Re-Arrest at Airport

( [email protected] ) Jun 25, 2014 04:53 PM EDT
Meriam Ibrahim, who was arrested and sentenced to death for refusing to renounce her Christianity, was freed earlier this week. However, in a devastating tun of events, she is now charged with fraud and banned from leaving the country.
Meriam Ibrahim gave birth to a baby girl while in prison (AP)

In a devastating turn of events, the Sudanese woman who was sentenced to death for refusing to renounce her Christian faith has been released from prison-but charged with new crimes.

The Daily Mail reveals that Meriam Ibrahim has been accused of falsifying travel documents when trying to leave Sudan mere hours after experiencing freedom from the death sentence. Under Sudan's penal code, forging a document is punishable by up to five years in prison.

"It is understood that the authorities told her she should have used the Muslim name she had when she was born, not the Christian name she uses after choosing to worship that faith," reads the report.

Ibrahim's lawyer told Reuters that nearly 40 Sudanese police confronted Ibrahim, her family and her lawyers as they tried to leave from the airport in Khartoum earlier today.

On Wednesday, she was still being held at a Khartoum police station where she had spent the night with her family, who refused to go without her, the lawyer said.

Ms. Ibrahim, who is currently on bail, is reportedly not allowed to leave Sudan until this matter is resolved.

The US state department said on Tuesday the American embassy in Khartoum was working with the family and the Sudanese government to resolve the matter.

"The government has assured us of their safety," a department spokeswoman told reporters. "We are engaging directly with Sudanese officials to secure their safe and swift departure from Sudan."

Meriam Ibrahim was sentenced in May to hang for refusing to renounce her Christian faith and conform to Islam. While imprisoned along with her young son, Ibrahim gave birth to a baby girl.

Mrs Ibrahim's husband, Daniel Wani, is a Christian from South Sudan and is a US citizen who expressed a desire to "leave Sudan as soon as possible" upon his wife's release.

Tina Ramirez, founder of religious freedom organization Hardwired, said the entire handling of Meriam Ibrahim's case has been "incredibly negligent" and "sloppy."

"The US government should have coordinated with the government of Sudan to get them out of the country. This is sloppy," she told the MailOnline.

"They have had three years to sort this out and whenever Daniel has gone to the U.S. embassy in Sudan for help they have refused. I think that Congress should be investigating what happened here."

"The US says that it cares about human rights issues and this is something they should be caring about. It's a total failure, it's shameful," she continued.

Ramirez said it was a 'good question' as to why U.S. officials on the ground did not put Meriam and Daniel on their plane and make sure they were able to leave.

Ramirez said: 'The State Department have been so incredibly negligent over this.'

 Daniel's brother Gabriel, a naturalized American citizen who lives in Manchester, New Hampshire, told MailOnline: 'This is very concerning. It's bad news.

'They should be let go as soon as possible. My brother wanted to get out of Sudan as fast as he could, and now this has happened'.