June 02, 2014
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) today sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry asking for the United States to seek the immediate release of Meriam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag, a Christian woman accused of apostasy in Sudan, and for the State Department to explore granting Ibrahim and her family political asylum.
In the letter, Inhofe wrote: "I fear for the health and safety of Ms. Ibrahim, her husband and two children, despite statements by the government of Sudan that no sentence will be carried out until two years after the completion of her appeals. That is why 24 of my colleagues introduced S. Res. 453 on May 21 calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Ms. Ibrahim and her children, encourages efforts by the United States Government to support religious freedom within Sudan and recognizes that every individual regardless of religion should have the opportunity to practice his or her religion without fear of discrimination. In addition, I ask that the Department of State explore granting Ms. Ibrahim and her family political asylum. I ask you to use your powers of diplomacy to convince the Sudanese government to end this all too real and potentially deadly case of religious persecution."
Click here for a copy of the letter.
On May 21, Inhofe joined three Senate colleagues in introducing S.Res.453, legislation condemning the death sentence of Ibrahim and calling for her immediate and unconditional release. The resolution also would reaffirm the U.S. government's commitment to ending religious discrimination and calls for the inclusion of religious freedom and respect for international human rights during the drafting of Sudan's new constitution. Since introduction, the resolution has garnered 24 Senate cosponsors.
In March 2013, Inhofe introduced S.Res.69, a resolution calling for the United States to assist in the protection of religious minority rights and freedoms in the Arab world where many governments continue to tolerate violations of this basic human right.