07/23/2014 Congress to Sudan: Release Ibrahim family

Source: World Magazine


WASHINGTON—Lawmakers on Wednesday blasted the Sudanese government for continuing to prohibit Meriam Ibrahim and her family from leaving Sudan.

Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, convened the hearing to spotlight the unresolved case of Ibrahim, a 27-year-old woman whose husband and two children are American citizens. Ibrahim was raised as a Christian by her mother, but a Sudanese court in May sentenced her to death for converting from Islam, the religion of her absentee father.

“Her refusal to leave the faith she had practiced her entire life led to her being in mortal fear for her life,” Smith said.

Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., who is not a member of the panel but attended the hearing, gave fiery remarks directed at the Sudanese officials who were likely watching. “We will bring the government down,” Wolf shouted. “If Meriam is not out in two weeks, they should never be removed from the sanctions list.”

Smith originally scheduled Wednesday’s hearing in June, but he canceled it after assurances he received in a meeting with Sudanese officials. Three days later, authorities in Sudan released Ibrahim and her children only to detain them the next day while they were trying to leave the country. Media reports said Ibrahim tried to use forged travel documents, but they actually were improper travel documents.


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