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Update: Sudanese woman sentenced to death for apostasy

Nearly one month ago we brought you the story of a 27-year-old woman from Sudan who was sentenced to death for "leaving" Islam. Because the woman claimed that she was a Christian like her mother, instead of a Muslim like her father, she was convicted of apostasy and was sentenced to death.

Since we last covered the story, the woman has been released from Sudanese jail and was going to be allowed out of the country. She was all set to travel to the U.S. with her husband, who is an American citizen, and their two children. It is unknown if the man was planning on bringing the wife in as an immediate relative, or if she was planning on filing for asylum once she arrived in the U.S. As she was about to leave the country, however, she was arrested again.

This time, Sudanese officials claim she had forged her travel documents -- a U.S. visa and emergency travel documents from South Sudan -- something for which she could spend up to five years in prison. The government and law enforcement does not recognize her marriage and, thus, do not consider her a South Sudanese citizen and won't accept the country's travel documents.

Her husband has both American and South Sudanese citizenship, which is why she was trying to travel on South Sudanese documents.

Though she no longer is facing a death sentence, it is clear that the woman would have a strong case for asylum were she ever to arrive in the U.S. Whether she would want to apply for asylum as the spouse of an American citizen, however, remains to be seen.

Source: Reuters, "Sudan summons U.S., South Sudan envoys in row over Christian convert," Maaz Alnugomi, June 25, 2014

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