News organizations in Sudan now are reporting that Meriam Yehya Ibrahim and her husband, Daniel Wani, were arrested as they attempted to board a plane in Khartoum.
Not much else is known thus far, except that they were taken to a facility of Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Service, which sounds ominious.
This story, from the South African news organization TimesLive, reports that Ibrahim and her family received numerous death threats after her release, including one from her brother, who said her family would carry out the death sentence if the government would not.
The background of this couple’s story:
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A member of Ibrahim’s family reportedly filed a complaint against her because of her marriage to Wani, a Christian. The relative contended Ibrahim was a Muslim, which would make her marriage illegal in Sudan and open Ibrahim to adultery charges.
Ibrahim contended that she was raised by her mother as a Christian. She refused to renounce her faith in court, bringing on the additional charge of apostasy. Eight months pregnant and with a 20-month-old son, she was sentenced to 100 lashes and then death by hanging.
An international outcry ensued and an appeals court Monday reversed the lower court’s ruling. But not before Ibrahim gave birth to a daughter with her legs shackled, according to this report.
Wani, a businessman and farmer, uses a wheelchair and says he relies heavily on his wife’s help.
There are obviously remarkable people who need to be in a place where they won’t be persecuted on religious grounds or threatened by a mob.
On Monday, after the appeals court ruling, I said it was heartening to see that some vestige of rule may exist in Sudan. It seemed like a small piece of good news in a world that seems to be losing ground daily to religious insanity.
The latest developments have unraveled even that small bit of cheer.
Let us hope for the best for these brave people. And I’ll repeat what I wrote a day ago — stories like these make me incredibly grateful to live in a place where religious freedom and the rule or law are so solid we have the luxury of taking them for granted.