We praise the Lord for being able to report that Meriam Ibrahim, a Sudanese Christian woman, and her family appear to have flown out of Sudan to Italy. She had faced the death penalty for refusing to renounce her faith and been held in the American Embassy for a number of weeks now.
Reuters has reported that Italian television broadcast images of Ibrahim arriving at Rome’s Ciampino airport accompanied by her family and Italian politician Lapo Pistelli who had earlier posted a picture of himself on his Facebook page showing himself with Ibrahim and her children. A translated caption on the image read “With Meriam, Maya, Martin and Ibrahim’s husband Daniel, a few minutes from Rome. Mission accomplished.”
They apparently arrived at the airport on an Italian government jet accompanied by Italy’s Vice-Minister for Foreign affairs. Pistelli told the Daily Telegraph that Ibrahim and her family were due to fly to the United States in a few days after they were to be given an audience with Pope Francis.
Last month, Sudan’s Supreme Court threw out the death sentence Ibrahim had received for refusing to renounce her Christian faith. Ibrahim’s father, a Muslim, claimed she had abandoned Islam and committed adultery with her husband Daniel Wani, a U.S. citizen who lives in New Hampshire. However, Ibrahim insisted that she had been raised Christian by her Ethiopian Orthodox mother after her father left the family when she was still young.
Ibrahim had spent more than a month at the American Embassy in Khartoum after a previous attempt to leave Sudan was halted by that country’s authorities. They said she had attempted to use false travel documents, a claim Ibrahim denied.
It was not clear how Pistelli and the Italian government had facilitated Ibrahim’s departure from Sudan. Ibrahim’s lawyer, Mohaned Mostafa, told Reuters that he had not been aware of her departure.
“I don’t know anything about such news but so far the complaint that was filed against Mariam and which prevents her from travelling from Sudan has not been cancelled,” he said.