Sudanese mother Meriam Ibrahim freed – and arrested

Work towards religious freedom continues for the Network of Religious leaders

Sudanese court of justice has reversed the death sentence of Meriam Ibrahim. Ibrahim’s lawyer, Mohanad Mustafa, has confirmed that Ibrahim has been released from prison. According to sources at BBC, Ibrahim was however arrested, along with her family, on Tuesday in Khartoum airport, when they were trying to leave the country.

Ibrahim, 27, was sentenced to death in May. The judgement was based on her renouncement of Islam. The verdict received significant worldwide attention. Several western countries and organisations, including

Finn Church Aid, have appealed for her freedom of religion and release.

“We are delighted for the liberation of Ibrahim. She was able to go to her family and two small children. This is also good news for the freedom of religion in Sudan. The country’s constitution guarantees freedom of religion. Reversing her sentence gives out a message that Sudanese have a freedom to choose which religion to practice“, commented Mohamed Elsanousi, a Finn Church Aid’s employee, who works as Director of External Relations for the Network, before the news of their arrest.

Finn Church Aid organised a discussion between American religious leaders and Sudan’s Foreign Minister, Ali Ahmed Kart, last week’s Monday.

“The minister welcomed discussion about Ibrahim’s case and of freedom of religion,” said Elsanousi.
Finn Church Aid was assembling a delegation to Sudan for religious leaders. The aim was to advocate Meriam Ibrahim’s right to freedom of religion on the spot.

“This case offers a good opportunity to continue discussion between the Sudanese government and inter-religious community in order to ensure the government’s and inter-religious community’s commitment in honoring religious freedom,” Elsanousi adds.

“Hopefully the delegation still happens, so we would have an opportunity to meet with representatives of different religions. More work needs to be done in order for interreligious community to thrive in Sudan and so that no-one would have to go through what Meriam Ibrahim went through.”