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Sudanese Christian Woman: Jailhouse Birth Went Wrong

Worries daughter could suffer disability
By Shelley Hazen,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 2, 2014 8:16 AM CDT
Sudanese Christian Woman: Jailhouse Birth Went Wrong
   (AP Photo/Al Fajer, File)

(Newser) – "Something has happened to the baby," says Meriam Ibrahim, in her first recounting of giving birth to her daughter on the floor of a Sudanese prison cell. "I don't know in the future whether she'll need support to walk or not." Ibrahim is now in limbo at a safe house in Khartoum, worried that the child may suffer permanent physical disability, the Guardian reports. “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.” The 27-year-old—convicted for apostasy while eight months pregnant—was denied access to a hospital when she went into labor in prison last month. Doctors have told Ibrahim that her treatment in prison—she says guards and inmates harassed and abused her—could have had negative effects on the child, reports the Independent.

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Ibrahim has been freed once again after being detained at the airport as she and her husband tried to catch a flight to the US after her death sentence for refusing to renounce her Christianity was overturned. Ibrahim insists her travel documents are not forged as Sudanese officials have claimed. “How can my paperwork be wrong? My paperwork came from the embassy. It's 100% correct and it was approved by the South Sudan ambassador and the American ambassador,” she tells CNN. Ibrahim has been charged with falsifying documents; diplomats are working to get Ibrahim and husband Daniel Wani, who is a US and Sudanese citizen, out of Sudan. (Read more Meriam Ibrahim stories.)

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