Sudanese Christian woman and U.S. citizen husband out on bail but can't leave Sudan

Sudanese police have granted bail to Meriam Yehya Ibrahim and her American citizen husband. She was charged with attempting to travel to the U.S. on falsified documents and giving false information, and her husband was accused of being an accomplice. The U.S. Department of State insists her paperwork is in order and it's now up to the Sudanese government to let her exit.
By JC Finley Follow @JC_Finley Contact the Author   |   June 26, 2014 at 5:59 PM

KHARTOUM, Sudan, June 26 (UPI) -- Meriam Yehya Ibrahim, the Sudanese Christian woman sentenced to death for apostasy who was freed Monday and then detained along with her family at a Khartoum jail over travel paper "irregularity," has been released on bail.

Ibrahim and her American citizen husband, Daniel Wani, both spoke with CNN on Thursday and confirmed they had been released from jail but were not allowed to leave Sudan.

The pair and their two young children were detained Monday at the airport because of an "alleged irregularity with her documentation" as the family attempted to fly to the U.S. hours after her release from prison, where she had been sentenced to death for apostasy. They were then taken to a police station in Khartoum, where her legal team said she was charged with attempting to travel to the U.S. on falsified documents and giving false information, while her husband was accused of being an accomplice.

The status of the family's detention has been confusing, with conflicting reports about whether or not the family had been released.

At a U.S. Department of State press briefing on Thursday, deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf said that she was informed Ibrahim and her family were still "being held this morning D.C. time" but acknowledged "this is a very fluid situation."

Later Thursday, the State Department said it had been notified by the Sudanese government of Ibrahim's release on bail. "She and her family are in a safe location and the Government of Sudan has assured us of the family's continued safety," an official statement from the State Department read. "The Embassy remains highly engaged in Ms. [Meriam Ibrahim] Ishag's case."

The State Department is helping to facilitate the travel of Ibrahim and her family to the U.S. Harf noted that U.S. officials were in communication with the Sudanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and "from our perspective, Meriam has all of the documents she needs to travel to and enter the United States. It's up to the Government of Sudan to allow her to exit the country."

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