38 Members of Congress Urge Sec. Kerry to Prioritize Case of Meriam Ibrahim

Congressional Letter Also Asks State Department to Expedite Process of Registering Meriam’s Children as U.S. Citizens

06/19/2014 Washington, D.C. (International Christian Concern) – On Thursday, 38 U.S. lawmakers wrote an open letter to Secretary of State John Kerry urging him to further prioritize the case of Meriam Ibrahim. The letter comes less than a week after a protest held outside of the White House on behalf of Meriam demanded the administration take stronger action on her behalf. Meriam, a Sudanese national, is married to a U.S. citizen. The Sudanese government sentenced Meriam, a Christian, to death in May for allegedly leaving the Islamic faith, sparking an international outcry among Western governments and human rights groups.

The letter, led by Congressman Trent Franks (R-AZ) and Congressman Frank Wolf (R-VA), says “We request that the U.S. State Department, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, review granting Mrs. Ibrahim Significant Public Benefit Parole, asylum, or refugee status, as appropriate. In short, we urge that every legal means necessary be exhausted to ensure that she and her young children are provided safe haven.”    

The letter goes on to request that the State Department expedite the process of registering Meriam’s children as U.S. citizens, a process several rights groups have said the State Department is deliberately delaying. Tuesday marked the 120th day of imprisonment for Meriam, her 20-month-old son Martin, and her baby daughter Maya, who was born in the prison.

The full text of the letter is available online here.

ICC’s Advocacy Director, Isaac Six, said, “This letter comes at a critical juncture. The State Department has rightly condemned Meriam’s death sentence and called for respect for religious freedom in Sudan, but for some unknown reason has repeatedly stalled the process of acknowledging that her children are U.S citizens. This acknowledgement would place even greater pressure on the Sudanese government, which is already feeling increasingly isolated by the international community over this case, to release Meriam. The U.S should make every possible effort now, while momentum is at its peak, to encourage Sudan to immediately release Meriam and her two children and guarantee that her entire family reach safety.”  

For interviews, please contact Isaac Six at Advocacy@persecution.org

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