Sudanese woman in death-for-apostasy case flees to Italy

This article is more than 12 months old

A Sudanese woman who was spared a death sentence for converting from Islam to Christianity and then barred from leaving Sudan flew into Rome on Thursday on an Italian government plane, officials said.

Ms Meriam Yahya Ibrahim Ishag, 27, whose sentence and detention triggered international outrage, arrived at Rome’s Ciampino airport with her family and Italy’s vice minister for foreign affairs Lapo Pistelli television pictures showed.

Her lawyer Mohanad Mustafa said he had not been told of her departure with her family to Italy en route to the United States..

“I don’t know anything about such news but so far the complaint that was filed against Mariam and which prevents her from travelling from Sudan has not been cancelled,” Mr Mustafa told Reuters.

There were no details on what led up to her  departure from Khartoum, and there was no immediate comment from the Sudanese authorities.

Ms Meriam was sentenced to death by a Sudanese court in May on charges of converting from Islam to Christianity and marrying a Christian South Sudanese-American.

The conviction was quashed last month, but Sudan’s government accused her of trying to leave the country with falsified papers, preventing her departure for the United States with her American-South Sudanese husband and two children, one of whom was born in prison

Muslim women are not permitted to marry Christian men under the brand of Islamic law enforced in Sudan.

Ms Meriam, her husband Daniel Wani - a US citizen originally from South Sudan- and their children had been staying at the US Embassy in Khartoum. - Reuters

Meriam Yahia Ibrahim IshagapostasyDeathunited states