|06/24/2014 Washington, D.C. (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that Meriam Yahia Ibrahim, her husband, Daniel Wani, and two children, Martin and Maya, have been released from the custody of security personnel following their arrest early this morning. The situation remains tense as the terms of the release have not been made clear nor has the Ibrahims’ freedom to travel been confirmed.
Following their arrest by more than 40 National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) personnel early this morning at a Khartoum airport, Ibrahim, her husband, and two children have reportedly been released from what the BBC is calling a “brief” detention. According to Sudanese officials, Meriam was not able to provide sufficient documentation in attempting to leave the country, despite her alleged possession of a United States (U.S.) visa.
However, in speaking with Ibrahim’s legal defense this morning, ICC was told they had been detained for “national security concerns.” Additionally, ICC sources have speculated that the explanation for the arrest provided by the Sudanese government is simply a justification to prevent their departure from the country indefinitely. ICC sources have reported the family was set to travel to South Sudan, possibly en-route to their anticipated final destination: the U.S.
The arrest and detention followed Meriam’s 126-day imprisonment on charges of adultery and apostasy. Those charges, and their respective sentences, were dropped following the Khartoum Court of Appeal’s June 23 decision to overturn the verdict reached by Judge Abbas al-Khaleefa of the El Haj Yousif Public Order Court.
ICC’s Regional Manager for Africa, Cameron Thomas, said, “We are incredibly relieved to hear of Meriam, Daniel, Martin, and Maya’s release; however, we remain justifiably cautious of the road ahead. In arbitrarily detaining Meriam and her family this morning, the al-Bashir regime has proven that it cannot be trusted to respect Meriam’s innocence, as recognized by one of Sudan’s highest courts just yesterday. It has become incredibly clear that the United States and international community must continue to pressure the Sudanese government on this case, and to use all means necessary to ensure their swift and safe removal from the country.”