Just before 27 year-old Meriam Ibrahim Ishag was to board the flight to freedom out of Khartoum this morning, she was re-arrested by Sudanese government officials. The entire family was removed from the airport and is being detained at Khartoum’s national security headquarters.
This drastic turn of events comes immediately on the heels of what Christians around the globe thought was the end to a brutal nightmare for Meriam and her family.
She was originally arrested last summer for accusations of apostasy, by a male individual claiming to be her relative. He accused her of turning away from Islam and becoming a Christian. According to Shari’a law, all children born to a Muslim male are considered Muslims by default.
However, when Meriam was six, her Muslim father deserted the family and left Meriam and her mother to fend for themselves. Since Meriam’s mother was an Ethiopian Christian, she raised Meriam in the Christian faith. Meriam has no recollection of ever being a Muslim.
After being found guilty of apostasy and adultery on Mother’s Day, Meriam was given three days to recant her faith. When she refused to renounce Jesus Christ, she was sentenced to be brutally whipped 100 times and then hanged to death.
The crime of apostasy does not usually carry a death sentence, except that as Sudan has become more radical in recent times, torture and punishment of women is getting worse.
Meriam is married to Daniel Wani, a naturalized U.S. citizen. They have two children, a 21 month-old son and three-week-old baby girl, who Meriam delivered in the filthy prison clinic while shackled to the floor.
Today’s new arrest was reportedly due to response from the man claiming to be her brother, Al-Samani Al-Hadi, when he vehemently objected to the decision to release Meriam. Prior to last summer the man was unknown to Meriam, and in court she denied being related to him. Since her mother is deceased, she has no proof that the man is not her brother.
Al-Hadi’s Shari’a fury has been unleashed and he is now seeking vengeance against Meriam. He stated, “The family is unconvinced by the court’s decision. We were not informed by the court that she was to be released; this came as a surprise to us and the law has failed to uphold our rights.”
He went on to say, “This is now an issue of honor. The Christians have tarnished our honor, and we will know how to avenge it.”