Sudan Officials Deny Christian Woman Re-Arrested

The Minister of Information in Sudan said the government there did not detain or re-arrest Meriam Yahya Ibrahim, a Christian woman who had her death sentence overturned for apostasy on Monday by an appeals court.

The government said Ahmed Bilal was protecting the woman from members of her own family who accused her of the crime of adultery for her marriage with a Christian.

The lawyers for Ibrahim said her husband and she were arrested Tuesday at the airport by Sudanese security officials when they attempted to board their flight.

Bilal said it could have been possible the couple had issues pertaining to travel documents they were carrying, but had not ever been arrested.

The Minister of Information continued by saying for the government’s point of view it has nothing against the woman, as she is free to travel at any time. That could be here problem is that her travel documents had not been in order and something similar to that said Bilal.

A spokesperson for the State Department in the U.S. said to reporters on Tuesday that the government of Sudan informed officials at the United State Embassy in the city of Khartoum that the woman and her family had been detained temporarily over travel document issues.

Reports that were released earlier that said Ibrahim was fearful of her life were refuted by Bilal who said the government is currently protecting her from family members.

Bilal also has said that Khartoum wants a national political dialogue to help resolve the many problems in the country.

Adebayo Baderin an expert with the United Nations said on Tuesday that he called upon the Khartoum government to free its political detainees as well as guarantee press freedom if it wants to prove it is ready to have a national dialogue.

This past May Sadiq al-Mahdi the Umma Party head was detained, but subsequently released in June. Ibrahim al-Sheikh another leader of the opposition is reportedly still behind bars.

Bilal said that both of the men had broken Sudanese laws.

The minister said the country has no political prisoners, but would like a national dialogue to bring everyone together.

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