Religious Freedom Caucus Co-Chair: Sudanese Gov’t Must Allow Ibrahim to Leave Country

Jun 24, 2014 Issues: Religious Freedom

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Trent Franks, co-chairman of the International Religious Freedom Caucus, issued the following statement in response to today’s arrest of Meriam Ibrahim, the Christian Sudanese mother who yesterday won her appeal and was lifted of all charges of apostasy and adultery because of her Christian faith. 

Congressman Franks introduced House Resolution 601, a resolution that condemned Meriam’s death sentence and called for State Department to provide her a safe haven in the U.S.  H.Res.601 has over 70 bipartisan sponsors.  Congressman Franks also led a congressional letter to Secretary Kerry that advocated for further action from State Department on Meriam’s behalf.  The letter is attached.

“I remain deeply concerned about Meriam Ibrahim’s safety in Sudan.  Although Meriam won her appeal yesterday and was declared innocent of all charges she faced because of her Christian faith, I learned this morning that she was held at the airport by the National Intelligence Security Service and was subsequently arrested.   I am appalled by the continued threats against Meriam, her husband, their two young children, and her lawyers. 

“We must hold Sudanese authorities accountable for this precious family’s safety.   Furthermore, the National Intelligence Security Service in Sudan must respect the appeal court’s ruling and allow Meriam and her family to safely leave the country. 

“Meriam’s religious freedom, as a universal human right and as a right enshrined in Sudan’s interim constitution, was abysmally abrogated by Sudan.  This case is only one example of Sudan’s long record of religious persecution and the U.S. must maintain pressure on Sudan’s government to make desperately needed religious freedom reforms.”