Did State Dept silence congressional supporters of Meriam Ibrahim?

Did State Dept silence congressional supporters of Meriam Ibrahim?

State Department officials, under pressure since Sudanese woman Meriam Ibrahim and her American family were prevented from leaving the country for the United States, have discouraged congressional leaders from speaking out publicly on behalf of them, advocates for the family say. …

The State Department said this week that Ibrahim’s family wanted members of Congress to “keep quiet” about her case, according to a religious-liberty advocate whose organization works with the Ibrahim family’s lawyers in Sudan.

“And that’s simply not true,” says Tina Ramirez, founder of Hardwired, which provides legal training in Sudan on religious liberty, told National Review Online. State was “lying” about the wishes of the Ibrahim family, she says. “I don’t know why they would say such a thing.”

Ramirez explained that the State Department told members of Congress that Meriam Ibrahim’s husband and her brother-in-law, Gabriel (who lives in New Hampshire), had asked that Congress stand down.

“State was advising Congress to back off,” Ramirez said. …

“It’s clear that the State Department, or the embassy, screwed up in this case, royally,” says Ramirez…  [S]he believes that the State Department is trying to minimize its responsibility for Ibrahim’s second arrest.

“The documents that the U.S. arranged for the South Sudanese government to give Meriam falsified her information,” Ramirez said, explaining that the documents portrayed Ibrahim as South Sudanese, an inaccurate claim that was allegedly part of the basis of the latest arrest.

“It doesn’t make any sense why the U.S. would have put her in a precarious situation like that.  Had it not been for the U.S. giving them those documents, they never would have been held by the Sudanese police,” Ramirez concluded. The Sudanese government might have come up with another pretext for her arrest, though, she said.

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