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Sudan re-arrests Christian woman Family detained as they tried to board plane

KHARTOUM, June 24, (Agencies): Sudanese authorities re-arrested a Sudanese woman on Tuesday hours after she was freed from death row, and detained her and her family as they tried to board a plane in Khartoum, a security source and her lawyer said. Mariam Yahya Ibrahim, 27, sentenced to death last month for converting to Christianity from Islam, was released on Monday after what the government said was unprecedented international pressure.

The security official said he did know the reason for the re-arrest. One of Ibrahim’s lawyers said she was being held at a security building outside the airport with her husband and two children. Ibrahim was freed by an appeal court on Monday which cancelled her death sentence.

She was then sent to a secret location for her protection after her family reported receiving threats. Her release was welcomed by human rights groups and Western governments that had voiced outrage at the death sentence. “She is in a safe place. I will not tell you where,” Mohanad Mustafa, told AFP on Monday night. “The main reason is that we are concerned about her life.” Mustafa said Wani had been reunited with his wife, newborn baby and the couple’s 20-month-old son who had been incarcerated with his mother. “Now she is with her husband and their children in the safe place,” said the lawyer. He and other members of Ishag’s legal team have also received death threats.

Twelve days after the lower court issued its death sentence, Ishag gave birth to her baby daughter at the women’s prison in Khartoum’s twin city of Omdurman, where she was shackled during pregnancy, Mustafa said. Mervyn Thomas, chief executive of Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), said the group was delighted that “the unjust, inhumane and unwarranted sentences have been annulled.” But he said the British-based group, which works for religious freedom, was appalled at the “threats and hate speech.” “Her alleged brother has publicly stated the family would carry out the death sentence should the court acquit her,” CSW said.

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