Posted on Governor Palin’s Facebook page this morning:
Unbelievably, the Christian mother whose plight we followed since her death sentence and appeal, has been re-arrested for refusing to renounce her faith. See here:http://www.patheos.com/blogs/bristolpalin/2014/06/meriam-ibrahim-re-arrested-please-pray-and-urge-diplomatic-action/
The thing that should get us in the gut is that she had the chance to deny Christ, and she didn’t. That is a real mom, right there. She knows it’s most important to know and love Christ than anything else. Ultimately, her children’s faith can become unshakable; they’ll witness their mother standing on the promises in Psalm 24. May all of this open our eyes to Christian persecution and vow to halt its creeping march around the world. And may we follow her example, using the strength God will provide to be fearless. In coming days and in so many ways, though heaven forbid it’s anything like this situation, we’ll need to hold on to faith and know that in ALL things Christ strengthens us.
– Sarah Palin
Here is the article at Bristol’s Blog that Governor Palin linked to:
Meriam Ibrahim Re-Arrested – Please Pray and Urge Diplomatic Action
June 24, 2014 By
Oh no! The ACLJ reports:
In a deeply disturbing development, Meriam Ibrahim, the Sudanese woman sentenced to death for her Christian faith, was arrested at the airport with her American husband and American children just as she was preparing to leave Sudan. Here are the details, from NBC News:
Meriam Ibrahim, 27, was “very happy” after an appeals court on Monday overturned a death sentence imposed because she married a Christian man and was alleged to have turned her back on Islam. But lawyer Elshareef Ali Mohammed said a group of 50 security force personnel arrested her during an angry confrontation at the airport in the capital Khartoum on Tuesday.
Mohammed, who was at the airport with Ibrahim, said the security forces did not give him a reason for her re-arrest, and made no reference to her dropped case even when he identified himself as her lawyer. He said Ibrahim had been taken to a detention center accompanied by her two children and husband Daniel Wani, who insisted on going with her. “I have no more information,” he said. “They knew she had been cleared by the court but they have re-arrested her – I don’t know why.”
Other reports indicate that she was arrested by “national security officials” because of “national security concerns,” and she is beyond the reach of any civilian court.
I’ve written about Meriam here, here, and here (when I thought she was free).
There’s a new petition to try to let Meriam come to America — with her American husband and American children — so she can be a mom freely. Please sign it — and pray.
From ABC News:
Christian Woman Who Was Sentenced to Death Blocked From Leaving Sudan
By Ali Weinberg
Jun 24, 2014 5:22pm
The U.S. State Department is monitoring the case of a Sudanese woman whose death sentence for marrying a Christian was rescinded this week, but was arrested again along with her family when she tried to leave the country.
Meriam Ibrahim, 27, was held at the airport along with her children and husband, a U.S. citizen, for allegedly not having the right travel documents, State Department spokesperson Marie Harf told reporters. The four were released today after being questioned for several hours at the airport, but are still not allowed to leave the country.
Harf said that the Sudanese government has assured the United States of the family’s safety, and that the U.S. embassy has been and will remain involved in the case.
From an article by Attorney Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), at FOX News:
Christian mom’s freedom short-lived:Obama administration must act decisively
By Jay Sekulow Published June 25, 2014 FoxNews.com
The free world rejoiced Tuesday when it learned that that Meriam Ibrahim, the Sudanese woman sentenced to die for her Christian faith, had been freed from prison. But less than 24 hours later Sudan’s repressive, jihadist regime struck back.
Now, confusion reigns. According to multiple reports, Sudanese secret police detained Meriam and her family just as they were waiting to board their flight out of Sudan, on the verge of freedom. Fox News reports that Ibrahim is now “back in a Khartoum lockup for allegedly using phony documents in a bid to flee the Islamic nation.” But it was not just Meriam. Her American husband and her young American children were taken as well.
It’s time for the world’s only superpower, the guardian of liberty for its citizens, to tell Sudan, “Enough.” One thing is crystal clear: The Obama Administration must act, decisively.
While a State Department spokesperson said the U.S. is concerned and working on the case, there was little information given about just what the U.S. is doing to secure their freedom. The fact is this international incident – with U.S. citizens being held against their will – deserves the attention of President Obama and Secretary Kerry. It needs to be dealt with at the highest level. It’s intolerable that we are left with nothing more than a couple of confusing answers from a State Department spokesperson in a daily briefing.
Americans are tired of seeing our fellow citizens and their families abused and detained by jihadist dictators, and we’re tired of weak and ineffectual Obama administration “responses” to major international incidents. Now the State Department seems utterly flummoxed by the most recent turn of events involving Meriam and her family.
As Christian persecution continues to claim lives across the globe – and especially in Africa and the Middle East – it’s vital that we stand with Meriam and her family in this most public of cases.
From an article by Perry Chiaramonte at FOX News:
Sudan charges Christian mom with using phony travel documents
By Perry Chiaramonte Published June 25, 2014 FoxNews.com
The Christian mom freed after being sentenced to death in Sudan is back in a Khartoum lockup for allegedly using phony documents in a bid to flee the Islamic nation.
Meriam Ibrahim, who gave birth in prison after being sentenced to death in May for allegedly converting from Islam to Christianity, was detained with her husband, Daniel Wani, at Khartoum airport Tuesday as she tried to leave the country. Although sources close to her legal team said she is being held at Khartoum police station, Seif Yasin, spokesman for the Sudanese Embassy in Washington, told FoxNews.com that Ibrahim is “free to leave Sudan, she just has to do it legally.”
“It is regrettable and disturbing that some elements attempted to bring Meriam to U.S by issuing her an entry visa on a fraudulent traveling document obtained from a foreign country (for a woman the whole world knows … is [a] Sudanese national ),” Yasin said in a statement. “That is inexcusable and unnecessary violations for all laws and regulations, including U.S. ones. The same legal system that protects her right and secures her freedom is capable of guaranteeing her right to leave the country whenever the legal procedure comes to an end.”
The U.S. State Department said Tuesday the detention was temporary and that American diplomats were working with their Sudanese counterparts to free Ibrahim, but a post on the Facebook page of Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services’ media department indicated the charges are considered serious in the Muslim nation.
“The airport passport police arrested Abrar after she presented emergency travel documents issued by the South Sudanese Embassy and carrying an American visa,” read the post, referring to Ibrahim by her Muslim family name. “The Sudanese authorities considered [the action] a criminal violation, and the Foreign Ministry summoned the American and South Sudanese ambassadors.”
The travel document Ibrahim produced at the airport, an image of which was obtained by FoxNews.com, appears to have been issued by South Sudan, the largely Christian nation that seceded from Sudan in 2011 and is now at sharp odds with Khartoum. Alan Goulty, the former UK ambassador to Sudan and a Global Fellow for the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, said Wani, who holds U.S. citizenship, is from South Sudan, which could explain that nation’s diplomatic involvement.
Al-Sharif Ali, a member of her legal team, told FoxNews.com Ibrahim was arrested in a show of force that included dozens of agents from the National Intelligence and Security Service. A source close to Ibrahim’s family said she is still being held, contrary to reports that she was freed.
“As of this morning, she was still being held at the police station,” he said. “Her lawyer was able to finally see her.”
On Wednesday, State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf was again questioned about the case but declined to go into detail. She strongly denied that the U.S. played any role in providing improper paperwork to Ibrahim.
“I can’t comment a lot more on the specifics of her travel documents,” Harf said. “Obviously we’re working with her and her family and the government of Sudan to try and get everything in proper order so she can and her family departs swiftly.”
“It’s very much our position that they need to be able to depart Sudan quickly. I don’t have any more details on what their travel will look like,” She added during the briefing. “So, we clearly care about this very deeply…and are working very hard to resolve it.”
Supporters of Ibrahim say they won’t feel she is safe until she is out of the war-torn nation.
“We’re encouraged that the State Department is engaged and working to secure the freedom of Meriam and her family,” said Jordan Sekulow, executive director of the American Center for Law and Justice, which gathered more than 300,000 signatures for an online petition demanding Ibrahim’s freedom. “Whether Meriam and her family have been ‘temporarily detained’ or arrested, holding U.S. citizens against their will is extremely disturbing and unacceptable. It has always been our concern that the only way the Ibrahim family could be truly safe is to leave Sudan.”
Ibrahim, 27, refused to renounce her Christian faith in court in May, prompting a judge to sentence her to hang for apostasy. The case became an international cause, with several U.S. lawmakers and the State Department blasting the decision as barbaric. Sudan’s national news service SUNA said the Court of Cassation in Khartoum on Monday canceled the death sentence after defense lawyers presented their case, and that the court ordered her release.
Ibrahim and Wani were married in a formal ceremony in 2011 and operate several businesses, including a farm, south of Khartoum, the country’s capital.
Wani fled to the United States as a child to escape the civil war in southern Sudan, but later returned. He is not permitted to have custody of his son because the boy is considered Muslim and cannot be raised by a Christian man.
Ibrahim’s case first came to the attention of authorities in August, after members of her father’s family complained that she was born a Muslim but married a Christian man. The relatives claimed her birth name was “Afdal” before she changed it to Meriam and produced a document that indicated she was given a Muslim name at birth. Her attorney has alleged the document was a fake.
Ibrahim says her mother was an Ethiopian Christian and her father a Muslim who abandoned the family when she was a child. Ibrahim was initially charged with having illegitimate sex last year, but she remained free pending trial. She was later charged with apostasy and jailed in February after she declared in court that Christianity was the only religion she knew.
“I was never a Muslim,” she told the Sudanese high court. “I was raised a Christian from the start.”
From an article by Arutz Sheva staff:
Sudanese Christian Woman Released from Jail Again
Sudanese woman whose death sentence for marrying a Christian was overturned released from jail again after being detained at airport.
A Sudanese woman whose death sentence for marrying a Christian was overturned has been released from jail again, after she was detained at Khartoum airport on Tuesday, the BBC reports.
Meriam Ibrahim’s lawyer, Muhannad Mustafa, said that she was currently in the American embassy with her family.
Ibrahim had been detained on charges of falsifying ID documents.
Ibrahim, whose father was Muslim but who was raised by her Christian mother, was convicted last month of apostasy for marrying a Christian. Sudan’s penal code criminalizes the conversion of Muslims to other religions, a crime punishable by death.
She was first released on June 23, when an appeals court lifted her death sentence. She had been held at a police station in the capital since Tuesday, when she was prevented from leaving the country along with her husband, Daniel Wani, and their two children.
She had reportedly planned to travel to the U.S. with her family.
According to Reuters news agency, quoting her lawyer, Ibrahim was released on the condition that she remains in Sudan.
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 U.S. citizenship.
Sudan summoned the ambassadors of America and South Sudan on Wednesday over what it termed the “criminal” issuance of travel documents by the two governments to Ibrahim.
From an article by Attorney Jay Sekulow at the ACLJ website:
Jordan Sekulow Filed in:
Sharia Law 12:00 PM Jun. 27, 2014
After being re-arrested less than a day after being released from death row for her Christian faith, Meriam Ibrahim and her American family have reportedly been released from the custody of Sudanese police forces on the condition that they not leave Sudan, as possible charges are brought against them.
They are not free.
Meriam and her American family were about to board a flight to freedom earlier this week, when 40 members of Sudan’s National Intelligence Security Service (known as the “Agents of Fear”) detained her along with her American husband and her two American kids – Martin, a toddler, and Maya, a newborn baby girl. After being detained at the airport, Meriam and her American family were arrested and taken to the police station.
According to press accounts, her lawyer also stated that Meriam and her American family are now in the U.S. embassy. This is a critically important development for her safety. However, they are not free to leave Sudan.
The United States must never let Meriam and her family who are U.S. citizens leave their sight from this point forward. There were reports that when Meriam was taken into custody at the airport, it was done in the presence of U.S. diplomatic personnel. This can never happen again.
Yesterday, a U.S. State Department spokesperson said that “from our perspective, Meriam has all of the documents she needs to travel to and enter the United States. It’s up to the Government of Sudan to allow her to exit the country.”
Later that day the State Department released a short statement, providing:
The State Department has received confirmation that Meriam Ibrahim Ishag has been released on bail and is no longer being detained at a Sudanese police station. She and her family are in a safe location and the Government of Sudan has assured us of the family’s continued safety. The Embassy remains highly engaged in Ms. Ishag’s case. We will provide more information as it becomes available consistent with privacy laws.
The Obama Administration, and the State Department in particular, must continue to aggressively demand freedom for Meriam and her American family. While not physically in the custody of the Sudanese government at the present time, Meriam and her American family are not truly free until they are safely in America.
It would be an act of diplomatic malpractice were the U.S. to allow Meriam and her American family to fall back into the hands of the Sudanese government – the government that just days ago planned to execute her for her Christian faith.
Hundreds of thousands of Americans have demanded Meriam’s freedom. Meriam expressed her gratitude for that support when she left the police station, telling the BBC, “I would like to thank those who stood beside me.”
At the ACLJ, we will not rest until Meriam, Martin, Maya, and Daniel, their American husband and father, are safely home. Join us by urging the Obama Administration to take direct action to bring them home. Sign the petition at BeHeardProject.com. And please continue to pray.
Here is a direct link to the ACLJ petition:
BRING MERIAM AND HER AMERICAN KIDS HOME
This is the Guardian article linked to by Sekulow:
Sudanese woman Meriam Ibrahim ‘safe and well’ in US embassy
Husband of Christian woman whose apostasy death sentence was overturned says she and children doing well
The husband of a Sudanese Christian woman facing threats after her apostasy death sentence was overturned has expressed relief that the family has been given refuge at the US embassy in Khartoum.
“Really, it’s good,” Daniel Wani, the American husband of Meriam Ibrahim, told Agence France-Presse by telephone on Friday, adding that embassy staff had been “very helpful and very nice”.
He said his wife and two children, who could be heard in the background, were doing well at the heavily guarded facility.
Ibrahim, 27, went to the US embassy on Thursday after being detained at Khartoum airport as she tried to leave Sudan. Her arrest came days after her release from death row.
Wani confirmed they had sought the embassy’s protection because of death threats against his wife.
A US state department spokeswoman, Marie Harf, said the family were in a safe location and Sudan’s government had assured the US of their continued safety.
Ibrahim was detained with her husband and two young children at Khartoum airport on Tuesday over allegations she had forged travel documents. But she was discharged from a police station, on the condition she remained in Sudan, after the government came under pressure from foreign diplomats.
Wani, a US citizen since 2005, said he hoped the family could start a new life in America. But 24 hours later security service agents apprehended the family, including a baby girl born while Ibrahim was shackled to the floor of her cell, claiming that her travel documents were forged. Ibrahim’s lawyer, Elshareef Mohammed, said more than 40 security officers stopped them boarding a plane to Washington.
The US state department said its envoy then met Sudanese foreign ministry officials at their request and told them the family needed to be able “to depart as swiftly as possible from Sudan and that we are happy to help in any way we can”.
Wani has claimed that those who triggered the case against his wife, whom he married in 2011, were attempting to muscle in on her business interests, including a hair salon, mini-mart and agricultural land.
From article at CBNNews.com:
Sudan Mother: Baby Harmed Because of the Chains
Thursday, July 03, 2014
Meriam Ibrahim, the Christian Sudanese mother who was forced to give birth with her legs chained in prison, says that her baby daughter is disabled as a result.
“Something has happened to the baby,” she said, according to The Telegraph.
Ibrahim said she doesn’t know the extent of the harm her daughter Maya may have suffered, and would probably only know as she grows older.
“I don’t know in the future whether she’ll need support to walk or not,” Ibrahim said.
The Christian mom, who was imprisoned in Sudan for her faith, was freed last week after her conviction of “apostasy” was overturned. But she remains holed up with her family at the U.S. Embassy, unable to leave the country.
She could also face new charges, among them that her travel documents to come to the United States with her American husband and her children included false information about her religion.
However, the U.S. Embassy and the South Sudan Embassy cleared the papers, she said.
“How can my paperwork be wrong? My paperwork came from the Embassy,” she said, according to The Telegraph. “It’s 100 percent correct and it was approved by the South Sudan ambassador and the American ambassador.”
The 27-year-old mother of two had been sentenced to death for marrying a Christian and “abandoning” the Muslim faith of her father. She contends that she never was a Muslim and always embraced the Christian faith that her mother taught her.
See this article for the story about the Ibrahim family’s arrival in Rome:
Meriam Ibrahim and their family left Rome on Thursday en route to the U. S. A.
Hannah Roberts at MailOnline wrote:
Meriam heads for new life in America: Mother put on death row in Sudan for marrying a Christian leaves Rome for Philadelphia with the Pope’s blessing
The family of four are planning to start afresh in America in Manchester, the hometown of Daniel’s brother, Gabriel Wani.
They spent the previous week in Rome after being spirited out of Sudan in the dead of night on an Italian state aircraft.
Meriam and baby Maya, who was born while her mother as shackled in prison, were blessed by Pope Francis who thanked her for her courage and praised her ‘courageous witness to faith’.
The brave mother said she was a little anxious about the new start.
Daniel, a trained chemist, lost his job while in Sudan supporting his wife through her ordeal in prison so they will be reliant on their extended family, at least at first.
The entire four will be cramped into Daniel’s one person apartment in Manchester.
She said: ‘ I’m a bit scared to leave Rome. We have been very happy here. We have felt like a real family. ‘
She said that they had toured the city as they waited for the final arrangements to be made for their travel, including an emotional trip to the ancient Roman amphitheatre where thousands of Christians were martyred for their faith.
They also prayed in one of the cities most famous churches, St Paul outside the walls.
She said: ‘We saw the whole city, we went to the Colosseum, we went to mass on Sunday, and we went shopping. We returned to life. And now I don’t know what to expect but at least we will all be together. ‘
Daniel was more confident. He said: ‘My brother will help us I’m sure and the Christian community in New Hampshire will be with us. The future is always unknown but I am optimistic.’
The quotes were relayed by the campaigner Antonella Napoli who saw the couple off at the airport.
She said the visit to the the Colosseum ‘touched’ the courageous Christian but the entire family had been ‘moved by the welcome they had received in Rome’.
After weeks at the US Embassy amid tense negotiations between the Italian and Sudanese authorities she was released and flown to Rome immediately.
The couple were given a private apartment during their week in Italy, where they were able to live as a family for the first time since the birth of their daughter.
They were kitted out with new clothes and driven around the sights by armed police, for their security.
When they arrive at the airport in New Hampshire they are set to be welcomed by the Sudanese and entire Evangelical community, as well as Daniel’s brother and his family.
From an Associated Press article at the New York Daily News:
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Thursday, July 31, 2014, 10:56 PM
MANCHESTER, N.H. — A Sudanese woman who refused to recant her Christian faith in the face of a death sentence arrived Thursday in the United States, where she was welcomed first by the mayor of Philadelphia as a “world freedom fighter” and later by cheering supporters waving American flags in New Hampshire.
Meriam Ibrahim flew from Rome to Philadelphia with her husband and two children, en route to Manchester, where her husband has family and where they will make their new home. Her husband, Daniel Wani, his face streaked with tears, briefly thanked New Hampshire’s Sudanese community on his family’s behalf and said he appreciated the outpouring of support.
Earlier in Philadelphia, Mayor Michael Nutter said people will remember Ibrahim along “with others who stood up so we could be free.” He compared her to Rosa Parks, who became a symbol of the U.S. civil rights movement when she refused to give up her seat to a white man on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, touching off a bus boycott.
Nutter said it was only fitting Ibrahim landed first in Philadelphia, a city founded as a place open to all faiths. He gave her a small replica of the Liberty Bell, a symbol of American independence, which he said she understood
“Meriam Ibrahim is a world freedom fighter,” he said.
Manchester, a city of 110,000 residents about 50 miles north of Boston, is northern New England’s largest city and has been a magnet for immigrants and refugees for decades. There are about 500 Sudanese living in the city, which is just north of the Massachusetts state line.
Ibrahim’s husband, who previously lived in New Hampshire, had been granted U.S. citizenship when he fled to the United States as a child to escape civil war, but he later returned and was a citizen of South Sudan.
The family was met at the Manchester airport by Gabriel Wani, Ibrahim’s brother-in-law, and dozens of supporters holding balloons, signs and flags. The crowd cheered as they stopped in the terminal, and several women reached out to hug Ibrahim.
“We’re just going to go and bring them home,” Gabriel Wani said. “They want to come home, and they want to rest.”
Monyroor Teng, pastor of the Sudanese Evangelical Covenant Church in Manchester, said Ibrahim’s release gives him hope.
“People are really happy to receive them when they come home,” he said. “It’s a miracle to me. I didn’t think that something like this would happen because, in Sudan, when something happens like that, it’s unreal. It happens to so many people. Maybe, who knows, I’m praying for those (other) ladies who are in jail and those who have died.”
The Rev. William Devlin, a New York pastor who had helped the family, said Ibrahim expressed some sadness when he talked to her Wednesday.
“She is leaving everything she knows behind,” he said.