Christian Woman Who Was Sentenced to Death Blocked From Leaving Sudan

(Al Fajer/AP)

The U.S. State Department is monitoring the case of a Sudanese woman whose death sentence for marrying a Christian was rescinded this week, but was arrested again along with her family when she tried to leave the country.

Meriam Ibrahim, 27, was held at the airport along with her children and husband, a U.S. citizen, for allegedly not having the right travel documents, State Department spokesperson Marie Harf told reporters. The four were released today after being questioned for several hours at the airport, but are still not allowed to leave the country.

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Harf said that the Sudanese government has assured the United States of the family's safety, and that the U.S. embassy has been and will remain involved in the case.

Ibrahim's case attracted worldwide attention when she was arrested while pregnant with her second child. Sudan's Islamic court convicted her of adultery because it did not recognize her marriage to a Christian and sentenced her to 100 lashes. It also found her guilty of apostasy for converting to Christianity and sentenced her to be hanged.

Ibrahim's father was Muslim, but she was raised by her mother who was Christian.

Her harsh sentences were initially postponed until after she gave birth. Her husband, who was working in New Hampshire, returned to Sudan. In the wake of international outcry, her death sentence was rescinded this week.