WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.) today celebrated Meriam Ibrahim’s release from captivity in Sudan. The 27-year-old wife of an American citizen, who gave birth in jail, has been imprisoned with her two young children and previously faced the death sentence after refusing to disavow her Christian faith.

“I am very pleased that Meriam Ibrahim and her family have escaped captivity in Sudan and can now safely travel to the United States,” Blunt said. “Unfortunately, serious human rights abuses still take place every day around the world. We need to continue pressure on Sudan and other countries that restrict religious freedom to make sure that people of all faiths are protected. The U.S. can and should do more to promote this basic human right abroad.”

In an effort to secure Ibrahim’s release, Blunt worked with U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte (N.H.) to send a letter on May 16, 2014, urging Secretary of the U.S. Department of State John Kerry to intervene on Ibrahim’s behalf and asking the Secretary to work with the President to appoint an Ambassador at Large for Religious Freedom, which remains unfilled. Blunt and Ayotte also sent a follow-up letter to Kerry and Jeh Johnson, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), on May 21, 2014.

Blunt has long-fought to protect religious freedom, and introduced bipartisan legislation to encourage the president to appoint a special envoy to promote religious freedom among religious minorities in the Middle East. The “Near East and South Central Asia Religious Freedom Act” overwhelmingly passed the Senate in June 2014.

Blunt recently spoke on the U.S. Senate floor to urge U.S. officials to aggressively protect the rights of religious minorities throughout the world, specifically calling for the release of Ibrahim and her family in Sudan, as well as Pastor Saeed Abedini in Iran. Please click here to watch his remarks.

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