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by Sharon Rondeau

Daniel and Meriam Wani were married at a Christian church in Khartoum, Sudan in December 2011. They have two young children, one of whom was born in the women’s prison where her mother is facing a death sentence for her faith

(Jun. 13, 2014) — Sen. Ted Cruz, the junior U.S. senator from Texas, joined a rally in Washington, DC on Thursday urging the public to “unite people across the world to release Meriam.”

Meriam Ibrahim Wani and her two infant children have been imprisoned in a Khartoum, Sudan women’s prison since January after Meriam refused to revert to Islam.  On May 15, she was convicted of adultery and apostasy in a Sharia court during which witnesses for the defendant were not allowed to testify.

The judge sided with Meriam’s brother, who reported her to authorities last fall, stating that because Meriam had left Islam, the religion of her father, to marry a Christian man more than two years ago, she was guilty of adultery.  Her sentence for that perceived crime is 100 lashes.  An additional sentence of death by hanging was imposed for “apostasy,” despite the Sudanese constitution’s guarantee of religious liberty.

A second Sudanese woman was jailed in early April on the same charges for having married a Catholic.

On June 5, the UK Telegraph reported that Meriam’s brother, Al Samani Al Hadi Mohamed Abdullah, believes his sister should die for refusing to embrace Islam following the trial.

Meriam gave birth to a baby girl on May 27 while wearing prison chains which the guards reportedly refused to remove after she went into labor.

Cruz has co-sponsored a bill introduced by New Hampshire’s two U.S. senators which would extend “permanent legal status” to Meriam and the children. Cruz and others have reported that the children are U.S. citizens by virtue of their father, Daniel’s, U.S. citizenship since 2005.  Daniel Wani resides in New Hampshire but has been in Sudan for several months attempting to free his wife, even as she gave birth to their second child under harsh circumstances and without medical assistance.

Cruz posted a statement on his website denouncing Meriam’s sentence which said, “This is wrong, it is grotesque, and it must be stopped. Every member of Congress should come together to support this bill and implore President Obama to act now, to defend religious liberty, and to save Meriam and bring her and her babies home to America.”

Daniel is a wheelchair-bound biochemical engineer, and Meriam is a physician.

Cruz himself was born outside of the U.S. to an American mother and Cuban father.  Having been born with Canadian citizenship because of his place of birth, Cruz claims to also have held dual U.S. citizenship from the time of his birth.  Last month, Cruz renounced his Canadian citizenship.

It is believed that Cruz may attempt to run for president, but whether or not he qualifies as a “natural born Citizen,” as is required by Article II, Section 1, clause 5 of the U.S. Constitution is an open question.

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council (FRC), launched a petition at whitehouse.gov to pressure the White House to take action on Meriam and the children’s behalf and attended the rally.  Having been asked why the Obama regime has taken no action to free Meriam, who is the wife of a U.S. citizen, Perkins responded, “I think this administration is afraid to take on the Islamic world and say, ‘There is such a thing as religious freedom,’ and that’s why she’s in prison..she’s in prison because she’s a Christian and they’ve convicted her of apostasy and sentenced her to death.”

The petition has more than 45,000 signatures as of press time on Friday.

Perkins said that Meriam has been “an encouragement” to Christians around the world.

Nearly two weeks ago, a foreign affairs minister from Sudan told the media that Meriam would “not be executed” and would be released from prison “in a few days’ time,” something her attorney doubted at the time.  Within 24 hours, another foreign minister had contradicted that statement, asserting that Meriam’s appeal must go through the judicial system.

Her attorneys have appealed to the African Commission on Human Rights.

Sudan’s dictator, Omar al-Bashir, is wanted for crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court.  Prior to the deposing of Mohamed Morsi in Egypt last July, Morsi and al-Bashir were collaborating on projects such as roads and trade affecting the two nations.

As tens of thousands of illegal aliens from Central America pour over the Texas border and receive housing, food, medical care, legal assistance, relocation assistance, and transportation, Meriam and her two U.S.-citizen children remain in the “disease-infested” women’s prison, having received no help from the U.S. State Department or Department of Homeland Security.  Earlier this week, Fox News reported that at least 57,000 American veterans waited more than 90 days for a medical appointment through the corrupt Veterans Administration health care system, where employees were maintaining two sets of appointment books to give the appearance that veterans were being served in a timely manner.  At minimum, several dozen veterans passed away while awaiting routine care.

A group of activists on motorcycles has begun a trip to Mexico to free an imprisoned former U.S. Marine who inadvertently drove into Mexico on March 31 with three legally-owned firearms.  Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi has reportedly been beaten, punched in the stomach and shackled to the point of bleeding by his Mexican jailers, with the Obama regime having taken no action to free him through diplomatic channels.

Meriam is now reportedly being kept “in comfortable conditions,” and Daniel Wani was granted twice-weekly visits after the birth of the baby.  Meriam’s chains were reportedly removed the day after the baby’s birth.  According to The Times of London, the first hearing in Meriam’s appeal will be held in July.

The U.S. Embassy in Khartoum has reportedly not engaged in assisting Daniel to free his family.  In a statement, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said that “We’re doing everything we can to push for her release.”

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