The US State Department reports Meriam Ibrahim and her family have been freed after being rearrested at Khartoum airport as they attempted to leave Sudan for the United States.
On 24 June 2014 Deputy Spokesperson Maria Harf (pictured above) told reporters attending the daily State Department press briefing the US government “has been informed by the Sudanese Government that the family was temporarily detained at the airport for several hours by the government for questioning over issues related to their travel and I think travel documents. They have not been arrested. The government has assured us of their safety. The Embassy has been and will remain highly involved in working with the family and the government. We are engaging directly with Sudanese officials to secure their safe and swift departure from Sudan, and of course, we’ll provide more information as we get it.”
Freed from prison on 23 June 2014 after her death sentence for apostasy was quashed by a Khartoum appeals court, Mrs. Ibraham (27) attempted to leave Sudan the next day, but was arrested with her two children and her husband, an American citizen, at the airport and taken to the headquarters of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) for questioning.
The BBC reported Mrs. Ibrahim sought to travel on a temporary South Sudan passport with a visa for the United States. The State Department confirmed she had been “temporarily detained for several hours over questions relating to their documents. They have not been arrested, have since been released.”
Harf declined to respond directly to questions from reporters asking if the arrest was part of a campaign of harassment, but stated “we’re focused on is working with the government to get them out of the country, and they said they’ll work with us.”