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Sudanese Christian woman takes refuge in US Embassy

KHARTOUM, Sudan--A Sudanese Christian woman detained when she tried to travel to the United States after her release from death row was freed Thursday and took refuge at the U.S. Embassy, her lawyer said.

“She is in the U.S. embassy now,” Mohanad Mustafa said of Meriam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag, 26.

“She and her husband think this is a safe place for them,” after receiving death threats, Mustafa told AFP.

In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said Ishag and her family were “in a safe location” and Sudan's government “has assured us of the family's continued safety.”

Citing privacy considerations, she declined to specify further the location of Ishag, whose arrest — and potential execution — raised deep concern among human rights campaigners in the United States.

Earlier Thursday, Ishag had still been in police custody while her legal team tried to find an acceptable person to vouch for her after her release.

She is charged with forgery and providing false information in relation to a South Sudanese travel document she used to try to leave the country on Tuesday.

They later found a Sudanese guarantor, he said. The person, who was not identified, provided assurances that she would report to judicial authorities as and when required.

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