In her first interview from Sudan about the birth of her daughter Mara, Meriam Ibrahim , the Sudanese Christian woman who was recently released from prison after facing the death penalty, says her daughter is disabled because she was forced to give birth in chains.
Ibrahim, who is currently trying to leave Sudan after being freed from prison, spoke for the first time about the May 27 birth in a recent interview with The Guardian. At eight months pregnant, Ibrahim had been sentenced to death for not renouncing her Christian faith and she was imprisoned and eventually forced to give birth while shackled in the Omdurman Federal Women’s Prison in North Khartoum, Sudan.
“I gave birth chained,” Ibrahim recalled of the traumatizing birth, adding “Not cuffs – but chains on my legs. I couldn’t open my legs so the women had to lift me off the table. I wasn’t lying on the table.”
“Something has happened to the baby,” Meriam added, explaining that her daughter had been physically disabled by the birth. “I don’t know in the future whether she’ll need support to walk or not.”
Ibrahim was freed from prison last week after an appeals court found a lower court’s death penalty sentence to be unfounded. Ibrahim and her husband, who has both Sudanese and U.S. citizenship, traveled to the airport in Khartoum to leave the country for the U.S. They were arrested at the airport and accused of using forged travel documents, a claim Ibrahim denies.
Ibrahim and her husband were released from the police station after being questioned, and they are being forced to stay in Sudan.
“It’s my right to use the papers and have a South Sudanese passport because my husband is a South Sudanese citizen. He has an American passport and South Sudanese passport,” Ibrahim told The Guardian, adding “I never forged any papers.”
Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council, commented in an email to LifeNews about the situation.
“While Americans get ready to enjoy the long weekend, there’s one family overseas wishing they could join the 4th of July celebration here in the U.S. Meriam Ibrahim, her husband Daniel, and their two tiny children still wait in Khartoum for the green light to come to the states,” he said. “Today, I again spoke with Sudanese officials, along with Members of Congress, and there is no substantial change in Meriam’s case. The fact that “administrative matters” continue to block her departure from Sudan is a reason for concern. The longer she’s detained in the country, the more dangerous it is for her and her family.”
“Knowing that she’s not yet left Sudan raises serious concerns about her safety and future fate. Please join me in lifting up Meriam, Daniel, Martin, and Maya in prayer — and continue to use your social media platforms to keep the pressure on U.S. officials to act. Meriam can’t afford for us to abandon her now,” he added.