I’m not believing it until she is on a plane headed for the U.S.
Sudanese woman forced to give birth in shackles and held with toddler in prison ‘hell hole’ as she awaited death sentence for refusing to drop her Christian faith will be FREED after international outcry
- Meriam Ibrahim, 27, was jailed in September following her marriage
- She gave birth in jail earlier this week to a daughter, Maya
- International outrage had been mounting at her treatment
- Today foreign ministry officials announced she would be released
- Sudanese foreign ministry claims it is committed to religious freedom
- Her lawyers say they doubt the decision is genuine
- Campaigners have warned the Sudanese government may be playing games
By MARK NICOL and KIERAN CORCORAN
Hopes were raised last night that the Sudanese woman facing the death penalty for ‘abandoning her Islamic faith’ is to be released.
Meriam Ibrahim, who gave birth to a daughter in her prison cell last week, has been sentenced to 100 lashes and death by hanging after a Sharia court convicted her for converting to Christianity, and ‘adultery’ because she had wed a non-Muslim.
But campaigners for Meriam urged caution at the reports she could soon be freed, warning that the Sudanese government could be ‘playing games’.
To be freed: Meriam Ibrahim, pictured here holding her newborn daughter, will be released from prison, according to reports
Authorities in the country are said to be working out a way to free Meriam thhat will be consistent with the country’s laws, according to Foreign Ministry under-secretary Abdelah Al-Azrak.
He said: ‘The related authorities in the country are working to release Mariam (sic) who was sentenced to death for apostasy, through legal measures. I expect her to be released soon’.
President Omar al-Bashir, who has imposed Islamic law on Sudan, has come under increasing pressure since the sentencing of Ms Ibrahim, 27, for apostasy on May 15.
MailOnline has led the way revealing Mrs Ibrahim’s shocking treatment.
In the past week we revealed how she gave birth while still in shackles inside her squalid prison, and reported on the heartbreak, angst and pride of her husband while she faced her ordeal behind bars.
We also highlighted a petition for her release, organised by Amnesty International, which was signed by 750,000 people.
After the horrifying details came to light, David Cameron described her treatment as ‘barbaric’ and said it has ‘no place in today’s world’.
Former PM Tony Blair described the case as a ‘brutal and sickening distortion of faith’.
However, Mrs Ibrahim’s lawyers said they do not believe the offer is genuine, and is a ploy to silence the growing outcry.
Elshareef Ali Mohammed, one of her legal team, told the Telegraph: ‘It’s to silence the international media. This is what the government do. We will not believe that she is being freed until she walks out of the prison’.
Tina Ramierez, of religious freedom group Hardwired, said campaigning for Meriam’s freedom is more important now than ever.
‘They could just be saying this just to get everyone off their backs. We have seen them do that before,’ she told MailOnline.
‘Its essential that we keep the pressure up until Meriam is actually freed.
‘The statement we have seen says that they are looking for a ‘legal’ way to free her but we don’t know what they mean by that.
‘Daniel did not even know about this until he heard the reports and they did not contact him first’.