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Former Sudanese prisoner who gave birth in shackles now free, travels to Italy

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Meriam Ibraham, a Sudanese woman who was sentenced to death for being Christian in Sudan, was finally released after a long period of captivity. During her imprisonment, Meriam was pregnant and was forced to give birth to her daughter in shackles.

Her daughter is now two months old, and Ibrahim has spoken out about the birth experience, saying that she believes her daughter may suffer from physical impairment because she herself was shackled at the time of delivery. Due to her bondage, Ibrahim was prevented from being able to deliver her baby normally, which she believes may have led to physical injury in her daughter in the process of giving birth. Ibrahim’s daughter is an American citizen by birth.

Meriam endured a rocky journey to freedom, facing unexpected obstacles — including re-arrest after initially being set free– but was ultimately released with the assistance of the Italian government. The President of the United States, on the other hand, chose a path of silence in regards to Ibrahim’s plight despite pleas from legislators like Ted Cruz that he speak out. So-called feminist groups also remained quiet on the issue despite Meriam’s vulnerable state in captivity. Pro-life groups, however, rallied tirelessly for her release.

After assisting in negotiations for Ibrahim’s release, the Italian Deputy Foreign Minster, Lapo Pistelli, escorted Ibrahim to Italian soil. The Italian Prime Minister greeted Ibrahim and her family at the airport in Italy, and referred to her visit as “a day of celebration.”  While in Italy, Ibrahim had the opportunity to meet Pope Francis, an outspoken advocate for the underprivileged and victimized.

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