(WASHINGTON) — The Sudanese woman who was released from a death sentence earlier this week has in fact been arrested on charges related to her travel documents, State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said on Wednesday.
Meriam Ibrahim, 27, has been held since Tuesday at a police station in Khartoum. She is with her children and husband, a U.S. citizen.
On Tuesday, Harf said Ibrahim had been detained at the Khartoum airport but not arrested. She clarified on Wednesday that the arrest, which occurred later at the police station, happened after the State Department briefing concluded Tuesday afternoon.
“The government of Sudan has assured us of the family’s safety. We will continue monitoring the situation,” Harf said.
The issue is over Ibrahim’s travel documents — Sudan alleges that she forged them — but Harf would not confirm whether or not Ibrahim had been issued a visa to visit the United States.
Harf added that U.S. officials are also with Ibrahim and her family and that the American chargé d’affaires had been summoned to meet with the Sudanese Foreign Ministry over the arrest.
Ibrahim’s case attracted worldwide attention when she was arrested while pregnant with her second child. Sudan’s Islamic court convicted her of adultery because it did not recognize her marriage to a Christian and sentenced her to 100 lashes. It also found her guilty of apostasy for converting to Christianity and sentenced her to be hanged.
Ibrahim’s father was Muslim, but she was raised by her mother, who was Christian.
Her harsh sentences were initially postponed until after she gave birth. Her husband, who was working in New Hampshire, returned to Sudan. In the wake of international outcry, her death sentence was rescinded this week.
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