Meriam Ibrahim faces challenges from Muslim family

July 24, 2014 by  
Filed under newsletter-world

Daniel and the childrenSudan, July 22, 2014: Meriam Ibrahim’s ordeal continues as her Muslim family pursues legal action in an effort to stop her from leaving Sudan after she was cleared of apostasy and adultery.

On Friday (18 July), the family filed a second lawsuit against the Christian mother of two, seeking to annul her marriage to joint US and South Sudanese citizen Daniel Wani. If successful, the couple’s two young children, Martin and Maya, would no longer be recognised as Daniel’s.

The family had lodged a first lawsuit, seeking to prove the biological link between Meriam and her Muslim father, earlier last week but this was inexplicably dropped. It was thought that the way may then be opened for Meriam, Daniel and the children to leave for the United States – until the second lawsuit was submitted two days later. This is scheduled to be heard on 4 August.

Meriam’s Muslim relatives are also trying to challenge the Court of Appeal’s ruling last month that quashed her death sentence for apostasy and 100 lashes for adultery.

The Supreme Court is yet to decide, however, whether the family’s appeal will be accepted. Under Sudanese law, an Appeal Court ruling can be contested by an interested party but the Supreme Court determines whether the party has the necessary legal standing to do so. If the family’s appeal is accepted, the Supreme Court will review the Appeal Court decision in a process that could take up to three months.

Following her acquittal on 23 June, Meriam was released from Omdurman Federal Women’s Prison along with Martin and Maya, who were locked up with her, and reunited with Daniel. But the following day, they were detained at Khartoum airport as they tried to leave the country, accused of possessing false travel documents.

They were released on bail on 26 June but the case has not been dropped. Meriam, Daniel and the children have since been staying at the US embassy in Khartoum and are not allowed to the leave the country.

Under the strict application of sharia law in Sudan, Meriam has been regarded as a Muslim because she was born to a Muslim father, even though he left the family when she was six and her mother raised her as a Christian. She was considered to have left Islam – committed apostasy – even though she never practised it and has maintained her Christian faith throughout. Meriam was also considered to have committed adultery because, under sharia, a Muslim woman is not permitted to marry a non-Muslim man.

– barnabas team

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