(CNSNews.com) – Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, met with Maowia Khalid, the Sudanese ambassador to the United States on Wednesday and said he was “favorably impressed” that Khalid is doing his best to assure Meriam Ibrahim and her family are safe, and will be allowed to leave Sudan and come to the United States in the near future.
“He’s been working hard to get this resolved,” Perkins told CNSNews.com following his meeting. “I think he realizes this needs to be resolved in a positive way."
“He assured me that Meriam and her family are safe,” Perkins said.
Ibrahim had been sentenced to 100 lashes and death by hanging by a Sudanese court in May after being found guilty of adultery for being a Muslim woman by birth and marrying a Christian man, and apostasy for converting from Islam to Christianity, a crime punishable by execution under current Sudanese law.
Ibrahim was jailed with her 20-month-old son, Martin, and gave birth to her daughter, Maya, while in prison. After international outrage and pressure, Ibrahim’s sentence was overturned on Monday but she was detained at the Khartoum Airport on Tuesday after trying to use a U.S. Visa to leave the country, NBC and other media outlets are reporting.
Ibrahim is a Sudanese citizen but her husband, Daniel Wani, is a naturalized U.S. citizen.
The New York Daily News reported that the U.S. State Department said it is “highly involved” in Ibrahim’s case and spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters that the “government has assured us of [the family’s] safety” and that the United States is trying “to secure their safe and swift departure from Sudan.”
Perkins cautioned that until Meriam has left Sudan her safety is not certain.
“I urge people to continue to pray for Meriam because as long as she is in Sudan she is still at risk,” Perkins said.
Perkins also said that the spotlight that has been shone on Meriam and Sudan’s judicial system could lead to a broader benefit.
“I’m optimistic that this could lead to some reforms,” Perkins said. “They know they need a working relationship with the United States and the international community.”