Meriam Ibrahim re-arrested and charged with forgery

The U.S. State Department has clarified its claim that Meriam Ibrahim had not been re-arrested at the Khartoum airport.

The U.S. State Department has clarified its claim that Meriam Ibrahim had not been re-arrested at the Khartoum airport and that the 27-year old mother of two would shortly be traveling to the United States with her husband and children.

On 25 June 2014 Deputy Spokesperson Maria Harf told reporters at the State Department that events had rendered her statements of the previous day inoperative. “Midday yesterday when we talked, [Meriam Ibrahim] had not been arrested at the airport. Subsequent to the briefing – timing is often very important here – the family was taken to a police station for further questioning, where police subsequently rearrested her on charges related to her travel documents. She has been held since then at the police station. Her family is with her. She is in the custody of the Sudanese police while the issues related to her travel – their travel documents, excuse me, are sorted out.”

Mrs. Ibrahim has been accused by the Sudanese authorities of attempting to travel on a forged South Sudan passport. Pressed to explain if the US consul would have given her a US visa on a forged passport, Ms. Harf declined to answer whether a visa had been granted, but noted visas were not affixed to false passports. She further stated the American charge de affaires met on Wednesday with the Sudanese foreign ministry to discuss the case. “He reaffirmed our concern that the family should be allowed to depart swiftly from Sudan, that we would work on that with them.”

The Facebook page of the National Intelligence and Security Services of Sudan reported: “The airport passport police arrested Abrar [Meriam Ibrahim] after she presented emergency travel documents issued by the South Sudanese embassy and carrying an American visa.”

“The Sudanese authorities considered this to be a criminal violation, and the foreign ministry summoned the American and South Sudanese ambassadors.”

Mrs. Ibrahim’s lawyer told Reuters she was charged with forging the travel papers. Under Sudan’s penal code, forging a document is punishable by up to five years in prison.

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