By BosNewsLife Africa Service with reportong by BosNewsLife’s Stefan J. Bos
KHARTOUM, SUDAN (BosNewsLife)– A Sudanese Christian woman freed from death row has reportedly been detained with her husband as they tried to leave the African nation with their two children.
The news emerged shortly after a Khartoum court on Monday, June 22, ordered the release of Meriam Ibrahim, who was sentenced for converting from Islam to Christianity.
Sudan’s government said the 27-year-old mother of two was freed after “unprecedented” international pressure.
However a security source said Ibrahim and her husband Daniel Wani were detained when they tried to board a plane at Khartoum airport to leave Sudan.
She was believed to be held at a security building outside the airport, with her husband and two children, including a newborn baby.
Ibrahim made world headline when a lower court sentenced the Sudanese woman, then heavily pregnant, to 100 lashes and death by hanging on charges of “apostasy” and adultery, after she refused to renounce her Christian faith.
In published comments Ibrahim denied abandoning Islam.
Ibrahim said she had been raised by her Ethiopian mother while her Muslim father had left when she was young.
Her husband made clear his wife is a devoted Christian. He quoted her as telling sheikhs visiting her in Khartoum’s Omdurman Federal Women’s Prison: “I’m pretty sure I’m not going to change my mind.”
Ibrahim was forced to give birth to her second child, a daughter named Maya, in prison. Her son Martin also lived with her behind bars.
In 2001, she married Wani, who became a U.S. citizen and tried to bring her to America.
Rights groups have expressed concern about her case, which they view as part of a wider crackdown on minority Christians in the heavily Islamic nation.
Sudan’s Islamist President Omar Bashir has warned that he wants to implement Islam more strictly, after the heavily Christian southern region broke away to become South Sudan, the world’s youngest country.