UPDATE: Mariam Ibrahim and her family were reportedly re-arrested at Khartoum’s airport Tuesday while attempting to leave the Sudan and travel to the United States. Read more here.
Mariam Yahya Ibrahim, a 27-year-old Sudanese mother, has been released from prison after “unprecedented” international pressure was put upon the Sudanese government to honor her right to religious freedom.
Ibrahim joined the Catholic Church shortly before she married U.S. citizen Daniel Bicensio Wani in December 2011. Ibrahim was ordered by a Sudanese court last month to return to Islam, and was sentenced to death for apostasy when she refused to renounce her Christian faith. She was also sentenced to 100 lashes for adultery because her marriage to a Christian was not seen as valid by the courts.
Ibrahim’s lawyer, Elshareef Ali, confirmed that she was released from prison on Monday and has been moved to a an undisclosed location for her protection. Ali said:
“She has been released from prison and she is on her way home with the children. She is very happy and the children are fine. Her husband Daniel Wani is overjoyed. He is so happy he is almost crying.”
Ibrahim’s 20-month-old son lived in the prison with her during her incarceration, and she gave birth to her second child, a daughter, while in prison.
Ali told the BBC that he hopes Ibrahim’s strong position and courageous example will deter the Sudanese government from prosecuting similar cases.
“It’s a victory for freedom of religion in Sudan … By Mariam’s strong position, we believe that in the future no one will be subjected to such a trial.”