Mariam Ibrahim: 'I Find Myself in Jail Today, and in Jail Tomorrow'
Mariam Ibrahim, the Sudanese Christian woman who gave birth in chains after refusing to recant her Christian faith, had her death sentence for apostasy thrown out by a Sudanese judge last week, and she was released from jail - only to be rearrested a day later, accused of falsifying documents and giving false information as she tried to leave for America with her American husband Daniel Wani and their two children.
Ibrahim described the horrific ordeal she has suffered in prison in the Sudan in a phone interview with CNN today, where she detailed the appalling conditions she faced giving birth to her baby girl.
"When I was in prison I was only thinking about my children," said Ibrahim, who is now staying at a safe house in Khartoum.
"I gave birth chained - not cuffs but chains on my legs. I couldn't even open my legs, so the women had to lift me off the table. I wasn't attached to the table," she said.
Doctors are afraid the birth may have permanently damaged the baby girl. "I don't know in the future whether she'll need support to walk or not," said Ibrahim.
Though Ibrahim was raised Christian, she was considered a Muslim by the court because her father was Muslim and she was convicted of adultery (since a Muslim woman cannot marry a Christian in Sudan.) She was also accused of apostasy, illegally renouncing a faith she claims was never hers.
"I've always been Christian," said Ibrahim. "I couldn't have been Muslim with the things they say and the way they treat me -- with a different sheikh coming to speak to me every other time and women in prison saying all sorts of things, like 'don't eat the nonbeliever's food' and calling me a Christian. There was all this talk and even the officers in the prison would join (in)."
She and her husband, American Daniel Wani, were freed from custody Thursday after having been detained two days earlier upon arriving at the airport in Khartoum. They were trying to fly with their baby and toddler son to the United States.
Now they are waiting to see what happens in light of the latest allegations against Ibrahim, of traveling with falsified documents and giving false information.
"My paperwork came from the embassy. It's 100 percent correct," she said, as she awaits news in the safe house of whether she and her family will continue to be prevented from leaving Sudan.