Mariam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag, the Sudanese woman who escaped a death sentence imposed for renouncing her Christian faith, says she wants to campaign for others who face religious persecution.
In a recent interview taken by the BBC TV in the US, where Mariam Ibrahim is seeking asylum, she said she hopes to return to Sudan one day.
She earlier received an award from a US Christian foundation.
Mariam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag wants to campaign for others who face religious persecution (photo EPA)
Mariam Ibrahim’s sentencing – by a Sudanese court that did not recognise her Christian faith – sparked outrage this year.
Born to a Muslim father, Mariam Ibrahim was raised a Christian by her mother and married a Christian man.
Under Sudan’s version of Islamic law, however, her father’s religion meant that she too was still technically a Muslim. A court found her guilty of apostasy, or renouncing one’s faith.
Sentenced to hang, Mariam Ibrahim gave birth to her daughter while shackled in prison. Under intense international pressure, her conviction was quashed and she was freed in June.
On September 27, Mariam Ibrahim received an award from a gathering of evangelical Christian conservatives in Washington, who see her treatment in Sudan as an assault on their values.
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Mariam Ibrahim, whose death sentence for renouncing Islam was overturned in Sudan, has been released from jail again, after she was detained at Khartoum airport on Tuesday.
Mariam Ibrahim’s lawyer, Muhannad Mustafa, said that she was currently in the US embassy with her family.
She had been detained on charges of falsifying ID documents.
Mariam Ibrahim was first released on June 23 when an appeals court lifted her death sentence for renouncing Islam.
Her sentencing in May to hang for apostasy sparked an outcry at home and around the world.
Mariam Ibrahim has been charged with forgery relating to the South Sudanese travel document she was carrying
Mariam Ibrahim, 27, 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.
Daniel Wani is a Christian from South Sudan and is a US citizen.
She had reportedly planned to travel to the US with her family.
According to Reuters news agency, quoting her lawyer, Mariam Ibrahim was released on the condition that she remains in Sudan.
“Mariam was released after a guarantor was found, but, of course, she would not be able to leave the country,” Muhannad Mustafa said.
Asked about her plans following her release, she said: “I will leave it to God. I didn’t even have a chance to see my family after I got out of prison.”
Mariam Ibrahim 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.
However, Sudanese officials say she should have used a Sudanese passport and on Wednesday Sudan’s foreign ministry summoned the US and South Sudan charges d’affaires over the issue.
The ministry criticized South Sudan for issuing travel documents “despite their knowledge that she is a Sudanese national” and condemned the US for trying to help the woman leave Sudan using an “illegal [false] travel document”, the Suna news agency reports.
Sudan’s National Security and Intelligence Authority are reported to have lodged the complaint against Mariam Ibrahim.
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Mariam Ibrahim, the Sudanese woman sentenced to death for abandoning her Islamic faith has been freed from jail, her lawyer has announced.
Mariam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag’s death penalty was overturned by an appeal court, the official Suna news agency reported.
She is married to a Christian man and was sentenced under Sharia law to hang for apostasy in May after refusing to renounce Christianity.
Mariam Ibrahim was sentenced to death in Sudan for abandoning her Islamic faith
Mariam Ibrahim’s husband, Daniel Wani, said he was looking forward to seeing her.
The death sentence for Mariam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag, who gave birth to a daughter in prison not long after she was convicted, sparked international outrage.
Born to a Muslim father, Mariam Ibrahim, 27, married Daniel Wani, a Christian, in 2011.
She has been in jail since February, along with her young son.
Sudan has a majority Muslim population. Islamic law has been in force there since the 1980s.
Even though Mariam Ibrahim was brought up as an Orthodox Christian, the authorities consider her to be a Muslim.
Her husband, who was born in South Sudan before it became independent from Sudan, went to the US in 1998 at the height of the civil war.
Daniel Wani met Mariam Ibrahim in 2011 on a visit to Sudan and they were married at the main church in Khartoum.