Good News for Meriam and Her Family?

“NO ONE IS SAFE”

by Sharon Rondeau

Meriam Wani and her family may have been allowed to leave Sudan to begin a new life after her six-month imprisonment, during which she gave birth in shackles

(Jun. 24, 2014) — The BBC has reported that the United States is involved in assisting Meriam Wani, who was released from a Sudanese prison on Monday, to leave Sudan, presumably to travel to the U.S. with her family.

Earlier on Tuesday, various news services related that Meriam, her husband Daniel, and two young children were “detained” while trying to board a plane to exit the country by Sudanese “security authorities.”

Meriam and her young son, Martin, were imprisoned since January on charges of adultery and apostasy. Last month, Meriam was sentenced to 100 lashes for “adultery” for marrying a Christian and to death for refusing to renounce her Christian faith.  An international outcry caused an appeals court to nullify her sentence and release her on Monday.

Her brother, who first reported her for “adultery” and “apostasy,” has said that she should die for her “crimes.”

On May 27, Meriam gave birth to daughter Maya within the prison confines while chained to the floor.

Meriam’s husband Daniel is a naturalized U.S. citizen, making the couple’s two children U.S. citizens.  During their imprisonment, Daniel had sought assistance from the U.S. embassy in Khartoum and reported to the press that personnel there had requested him to provide a DNA sample to prove that Martin was his child.

On May 30, Daniel told the BBC that Martin has been “traumatised” [sic] by his captivity in the women’s prison with his mother.

On June 12, putative Secretary of State John Kerry issued a statement “urging” Sudan’s Sharia government to release Meriam and the children and honor her “fundamental right to freedom of religion.”

After Meriam and the children were released, she sought safe haven at an undisclosed location.

The UK Independent reported on Tuesday evening that the Wani family has been released from security detention.  U.S. State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf told the media that “They were temporarily detained for several hours over questions related to their documents” and that Sudan had assured her at that time that they were “safe.”

The group Hardwired, which trains citizens to advocate for religious freedom, has been working to free Meriam and another Sudanese woman also imprisoned for marrying a Christian.  Faiza Abdullah was arrested in early April by authorities who said that her name and religion did not match, thereby making her an apostate.
Hardwired reported that Meriam’s five-person legal team comprises five Muslim men.  “Sudan is one of the most oppressive countries in the world,” the website stated.  “No one is safe.”

Daniel has been living and working in the state of New Hampshire, whose motto is “Live Free or Die.”

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