This story’s becoming increasingly difficult to keep up with. Amid changing narratives and false reporting, her fate (and that of her family’s) has been in limbo for days. That being said, we seem to have crossed the Rubicon, so to speak. The Guardian reports that Ibrahim and her family have been granted certain protections and safe harbor at the US embassy in Khartoum:
The husband of a Sudanese Christian woman facing threats after her apostasy death sentence was overturned has expressed relief that the family has been given refuge at the US embassy in Khartoum.
"Really, it's good," Daniel Wani, the American husband of Meriam Ibrahim, told Agence France-Presse by telephone on Friday, adding that embassy staff had been "very helpful and very nice".
He said his wife and two children, who could be heard in the background, were doing well at the heavily guarded facility.
So now what? She may indeed be safe and secure at the US embassy -- but she can’t stay there indefinitely. Strangely, the Sudanese government isn’t eager to put this unpleasant episode behind them (despite international condemnation and outcry) and in fact only freed Ibrahim and her family under the condition that they remain in the country. Reuters reports:
Ibrahim waved at reporters as she and her family left the police station where she had been held for questioning and while she found a guarantor to ensure she did not flee Sudan.
“Mariam was released after a guarantor was found, but, of course, she would not be able to leave the country,” lawyer Mostafa said.
Despite lifting her death sentence after huge international pressure, Sudan still does not recognize Ibrahim as a Christian and therefore does not recognize her marriage, as Muslim women are not permitted to marry Christian men under the Islamic laws applied in the African country.
The ball, then, is firmly in the hands of the Sudanese government. Let’s hope the State Department -- and foreign governments around the world -- keep applying the pressure.