A Sudanese woman who was spared the death penalty for marrying a Christian has been released from jail after being detained at Khartoum airport.
Mariam Yahya Ibrahim – who is considered a Muslim by the Sudanese authorities – cannot leave the country and has taken refuge at the US embassy, according to her lawyer.
The 27-year-old was freed after finding a guarantor. She had been held on Tuesday, accused of travelling on false documents.
“Despite this release she can’t leave Sudan because she has been freed on bail. Therefore she is still subject to the charges against her and cannot travel unless these charges are dropped. Otherwise these charges will have to be referred to a court,” said her lawyer Mohammed Abdul Nabi.
Ibrahim’s travel documents were issued by South Sudan, which says they were genuine as her husband comes from the predominantly Christian country which became independent in 2011.
But Khartoum argues she should have used a Sudanese passport.
A US spokeswoman said on Thursday that Ibrahim had all the documents she needed to travel to the United States.
“It’s up to the government of Sudan to allow her to exit the country,” spokeswoman Marie Harf told a regular State Department news briefing before Ibrahim’s release.
“We are in communication with the Sudanese Foreign Ministry to ensure that she and her family will be free to travel as quickly as possible.”