Meriam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag, the Sudanese woman who was spared a death sentence for renouncing Islam, has flown to Italy after more than a month in the US embassy in Khartoum.
Meriam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag and her family flew on an Italian government plane, accompanied by Italian minister Lapo Pistelli.
Her father is Muslim so according to Sudan’s version of Islamic law she is also Muslim and cannot convert.
Meriam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag was raised by her Christian mother and says she has never been Muslim.
Lapo Pistelli, Italy’s vice-minister for foreign affairs, posted a photo of himself with Meriam Ibrahim and her children on his Facebook account as they were about to land in Rome.
“Mission accomplished,” he wrote.
Meriam Ibrahim’s husband, Daniel Wani, also a Christian, is from South Sudan and has US nationality.
Their daughter Maya was born in prison in May, shortly after Meriam Ibrahim was sentenced to hang for apostasy – renouncing one’s faith – sparking global outrage.
Under intense international pressure, her conviction was quashed and she was freed in June.
Meriam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag was given South Sudanese travel documents but was arrested at Khartoum airport, with Sudanese officials saying the travel documents were fake.
These new charges meant she was not allowed to leave the country but she was released into the custody of the US embassy in Khartoum.
Last week, her father’s family filed a lawsuit trying to have her marriage annulled, on the basis that a Muslim woman is not allowed to marry a non-Muslim.