Latest on Dr. Meriam Ibrahim's "Re-Arrest" in Sudan UPDATE 9:30 PM EST 6/25/2014
Sudan Summons US, South Sudan Ambassadors After Re-Arrest of Meriam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag, Previously Condemned To Death For Being Christian.
UPDATE: 9:30 PM EST 6/25/2014: The family lawyer and U.S. State Department confirm the family has been released from police custody. State Department asserts it is working on bringing the family back to America ASAP.
Dr. Meriam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag is a 27 year old medical doctor born in Sudan and married to an American citizen born in Sudan and now a resident of New Hampshire. Meriam and her husband have two children, a new born and a son 20 months old. She was arrested when she was eight months pregnant for being a Christian. The Sudanese government can put any legal twist they want on it but being a Christian was the "crime" she was arrested for. The court declared her duly licensed and recorded marriage null because her husband is a Christian, as she is and has been raised since as far back as she can remember. By declaring her marriage null the court then cited her two children as "proof of adultery" (one definition among these utter barbarians is a Muslim woman marrying a non Muslim). The court then sentenced her to one hundred lashes but delayed the execution of the sentence because she was eight months pregnant. They had other matters to attend to relative to the good doctor. It seems a male relative who she had little contact with filed charges with the court that Meriam was a Muslim. That fact under their barbarian law allowed the court to sentence her to death for abandoning the Islamic religion, and so they immediately sentenced her to hang some time after they get around to beating her to near death. Off she went to prison with both of her baby sharing her cell. She was placed in leg irons inside her cell and gave birth to her second child while in leg irons.
Her husband, an American citizen, and a biochemist confined to a wheel chair was released. He immediately sought legal counsel and the assistance of the American embassy. Allegedly the initial response of the American embassy was that they didn't "have time for this". Eventually Great Britain's diplomatic corps and an association of British Muslims condemned the Sudanese action. There was some global media coverage , eventually the U.S. State Department went to work and shortly it was announced that Meriam had was about to be released. That turned out to be false, the Sudanese Imams were determined to mete out their peculiar form of "justice". Sudan's constitution supposedly assures all citizens freedom of religion, but the Imam judges don't really care for the constitution. But there being a constitutional issue she did rate an appeal. Meanwhile World, but official U.S. pressure was mounting on the appeals court to buck the Imam's. About two days ago it was announced that the flogging and death sentence was rescinded and mother and babies were released from prison. After being in hiding the family appeared at the airport ready to depart for the U.S. Meriam had an "emergency exit" document from South Sudan, a Christian enclave that broke off from Sudan when the Imams made life impossible and a U.S Visa. The family by all accounts except that of the U.S. State Department was arrested on criminal charges of pass port and visa fraud. The penalty is five years of imprisonment. Men and women are imprisoned separately ,small children apparently are jailed with the mother.
The Sudanese Foreign Ministry acting like an offended party has called in the American and South Sudanese ambassadors. The lawyer for the family characterized the action as an arrest but estimated that the family would be released from police custody within 24 hours, we are nearing that point now, no word as of this writing. The U.S. embassy paints a quite different story. U.S. authorities claim that the family was detained by police for several hours then released and were not arrested. The claim doesn't seem very credible given that the family lawyer still hasn't confirmed their release and the past history of news coming from the U.S. embassy in Khartoum, or the U.S. State Department. IN any event the family whether in a safe house somewhere or in jail is at this writing still in Sudan, in fear for their lives not only from the barbarian judiciary but from much of the intolerant and apparently blood thirsty population. Again we wish we could just get back to maritime coverage but this saga should be known by our professional mariner readers. It speaks volumes about the ineptitude of the U.S. State Department upon whom we depend for protection in foreign ports some of which are vehemently hostile to Christians and particularly hostile to Americans of any persuasion.