The lawyer responsible for defending the two South Sudanese pastors who were freed last week after months in detention in Khartoum has downplayed the decision by airport authorities to prevent them from leaving the country.

“It will take some few days for the pastors to leave the country, but we are working on procedures to let them travel,” Ahmed Sabair told Radio Tamazuj.

A relative added: “We are working now with their lawyer and your prayers are very needed.”

Christian Solidarity Worldwide reported on 10 Aug. that an appeal against the travel ban failed because it was imposed by Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) and, as such, the court had no authority to lift the ban. However, CSW later reported that it was in fact the prosecution which had imposed the initial ban and that a fresh appeal is now being considered.

Pastors Yat Michael and Peter Yen had faced charges that could have carried the death penalty. They were found guilty on one count each but judge Ahmed Ghaboush ruled that their eight months in prison up to the verdict had satisfied the sentences for those.