WASHINGTON (BP) – Meriam Ibrahim, the Sudanese woman whose death sentence caused an international outcry, arrived safely in Italy July 24. Ibrahim was flown on an Italian government jet to Rome with her American husband, Daniel Wani and their two young children. Ibrahim was arrested in February and a Sudanese judge set Ibrahim’s death sentence for “apostasy” (leaving Islam) May 15. However, in June, the ruling was overturned and she was released from prison only to be detained at the airport and denied permission to leave the country.
Currently, Ibrahim and her children are in a government safe house in Italy until they secure proper travel documents to enter the United States. “The court has sentenced you to be hanged till you are dead,” a Sudanese judge told Ibrahim after Islamist crowds shouted for the court to punish her. The judge had given her 15 days to recant upon announcing his original sentence April 30. Because she married a Christian, she was also sentenced to 100 lashes for apostasy. She defended her religious beliefs by telling the judge, “I am a Christian, and I have never been a Muslim.”