Multiple international news reports Saturday indicate Meriam Ibrahaim would “be freed” after getting a death sentence from the government of Sudan for rejecting Islam. Meriam gave birth this week to a baby girl named Maya. The decision comes after the Sudanese government faced mounting pressure from the international community over her “barbaric” treatment. However, the London Telegraph newspaper reports “her lawyers say they will not believe it until they see her walk out of prison.”
Meriam languishes in a notoriously rank Sudanese prison with her 20-month-old son and her newborn daughter. Hundreds of thousands of people have signed petitions urging Sudan to free Meriam or urging their own governments to speak out on her behalf.
Abdullahi Alzareg, an under-secretary at the foreign ministry, said the county was committed to protecting the woman and guaranteed religious freedom, according to news reports.
But lawyers for 27-year-old Ms Ibrahim expressed scepticism that she would be freed so quickly.
“It’s a statement to silence the international media,” said Elshareef Ali Mohammed. “This is what the government does. We will not believe that she is being freed until she walks out of the prison.”
He said he had even heard reports that the spokesman was in the UK on medical leave when he told the BBC she would soon be freed.
“If they were to release her, the announcement would come from the appeal court, and not from the ministry of foreign affairs. But at least it shows our campaign to free Meriam is rattling them. We must keep up the pressure.”
Mark Simmonds, the Foreign Office’s Africa minister, said on Saturday that Britain was “putting intense pressure on the Sudanese government” to ensure her release.
“Hopefully the international outrage will push the Sudanese authorities into a situation where they feel they have to release Meriam,” he said.
David Cameron has added his voice to that of former US president Bill Clinton, the United Nations and a series of American senators in condemning the sentence.
“The way she is being treated is barbaric and has no place in today’s world,” the Prime Minister said. “Religious freedom is an absolute, fundamental human right.
“I urge the government of Sudan to overturn the sentence and immediately provide appropriate support and medical care for her and her children.”
Just a day after the first pictures emerged of Meriam Ibrahim’s newborn baby named Maya, her husband was pleading with people around the world to speak up on her behalf so she is not executed for her faith.
The pregnant Christian woman gave birth in chains while in a Sudanese prison because of her Christian faith. Ibrahim’s legs were chained as she gave birth in Sudanese jail and the 27-year-old gave birth as she was shackled to the floor. Her husband was initially refused entry to jail but was eventually allowed in with lawyer.
In an email to LifeNews, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins responded today to reports that the Sudan government may release Meriam Ibrahim from death row within the next “few days.”
“We are encouraged by reports that Meriam and her two small children may be released from a prison that is notorious for torture and its high infant mortality rate. Nearly 30,000 Americans have signed a WhiteHouse.gov petition in the last three days asking that the administration immediately extend safe haven to Meriam and her two children who are eligible for U.S. citizenship. We remain deeply concerned about Meriam’s safety in Sudan, especially if she is released back into Sudanese society,” he said.
Perkins has been critical of the Obama administration for not doing more to speak out on her behalf as other governments worldwide have done.
“Earlier this week, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson told Congressman Trent Franks (R-AZ) that he wasn’t sure he knew about her case but promised to look into the possibility of granting safe haven in the United States. Since then, he has said nothing more publicly,” he said.
“The Obama administration should grant immediate refugee status to Meriam and her children so that they will have the option of finding safe haven in the United States. Family Research Council joins thousands of Americans in demanding President Obama offer a safe haven to this suffering American family,” concluded Perkins.
David Christensen, the Vice President for Government Affairs, is urging Americans to contact Congress on Meriam’s behalf.
“Please contact your Member of Congress and urge them to support H. Res. 601, introduced this week by Congressman Trent Franks of Arizona, calling for the release of imprisoned Sudanese Christian Meriam Ibrahim,” he said.
“Meriam has spent months in a Sudanese prison and has been sentenced to death — all for refusing to recant her Christian faith. Just this week, she gave birth to her second child — a daughter — while still held in jail. Despite being married to an American citizen and the fact that her children are also eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship, Meriam’s case has received little attention from our Department of State or the U.S. Embassy in Sudan,” he told LifeNews. “That’s why H. Res. 601 also calls upon this Administration to act now on behalf of Meriam and to move quickly to grant her and her children refuge in the United States.”
“Sudan’s egregious treatment of Meriam represents the type of human rights abuses our country has long publically condemned. It’s important that Members of Congress act now to pressure the Executive Branch to act and to signal their support for religious freedom and human rights. Please