Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) today issued a statement regarding the detention of Meriam Yahia Ibrahim, a Sudanese woman who was imprisoned and sentenced to death earlier this year for refusing to recant her Christian faith. Following Ibrahim’s release yesterday, she and her husband Daniel Wani, an American citizen, were detained with their two children at an airport in the capital Khartoum while trying to leave the country.
Rubio was the Senate’s lead sponsor of the unanimously passed resolution that called for her immediate and unconditional release, and the inclusion of religious freedom and respect for international human rights during the drafting of Sudan’s new constitution.
“I am disgusted by the detention of Meriam Yahia Ibrahim and the detention of her American husband Daniel Wani and their two young children,” said Rubio. “After being persecuted for her faith, and facing the unimaginable fear of being sentenced to death, Meriam and her family were trying to leave Sudan to live their lives free from religious persecution. Instead the Sudanese government is continuing to violate their fundamental rights by denying them the ability to leave Sudan to escape persecution.
“Meriam should have never been arrested in the first place, but her detention along with the detention of her husband, an American citizen, requires immediate action,” added Rubio. “I urge the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Department of Homeland Security to do everything in their power to secure the release of Meriam, Daniel, and their children, and to make sure they have the ability to exercise their religious freedom in the U.S. if they so choose.”