Attempt to solve Sudanese standoff
Khartoum – Sudanese authorities and United States officials in Khartoum are negotiating to allow a Sudanese woman, who married an American and was recently spared the death penalty for converting to Christianity, to leave Sudan, sources close to the case said.
Mariam Yahya Ibrahim, 27, was detained at Khartoum airport on Wednesday, a day after an appeals court overturned a death sentence imposed on her for having converted from Islam to Christianity in order to marry her Christian American husband.
Her lawyer, Mohaned Mostafa, said Ibrahim, her husband and two children had been staying at the US embassy in Khartoum since her release, which was granted on the condition that Ibrahim remains in Sudan.
‘‘There are talks going on currently between Sudanese and American officials to try to find a way for Mariam and her family to leave the country,’’ a source said.
Ibrahim was detained on Wednesday for trying to use documents issued by the embassy of South Sudan to fly out of Khartoum with her AmericanSouth Sudanese husband and their two children.
Despite lifting her death sentence after huge international pressure, Sudan still does not acknowledge Ibrahim’s new identity as a Christian South Sudanese because it does not recognise her marriage. Muslim women are not permitted to marry Christian men under the Islamic laws. ‘‘The talks now are aiming to get her out of Sudan on a Sudanese passport,’’ the source said.
Ibrahim’s husband, Daniel Wani, said that it was a ‘‘misunderstanding’’ and error when Sudanese authorities said her travel documents were invalid, adding that his wife should have the right to adopt his South Sudanese nationality.
‘‘There is diplomatic work going on and the Sudanese Government offers help and co-operates in this matter,’’ Wani said. ‘‘We will leave this time in a smooth manner and with travel documents that the Sudanese authorities accept.’’
South Sudan, which has a majority Christian population, became independent from the mostly Muslim north after a referendum in 2011 that ended years of civil war.
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