Sudanese Christian Meriam Ibrahim arrives in New Hampshire, granted asylum

Published 01 August 2014  |  

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Meriam Ibrahim and Daniel Wani arrive at the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport on July 31, 2014.

Meriam Ibrahim arrived in Manchester, New Hampshire Thursday, and her family reports that she has been granted asylum by the US government.

Ibrahim arrived at Manchester-Boston Regional Airport with her husband and children, and was greeted by a crowd of supporters and media.

The Sudanese Christian declined to give a statement, but her husband, Daniel Wani, spoke for the family.

"Thank you so much," he said through tears. "I am so relieved."

Wani's brother, Gabriel, reported that Ibrahim has been granted asylum, and will meet with State Department officials by Friday. Gabriel also expressed relief that his sister-in-law's fight for freedom is over.

"It's a beautiful day," he told the New Hampshire Union Leader. "There is a lot of happiness today. There was way too much stress. Right now, everything is released."

Ibrahim, Wani, and their children, Martin, 21-months-old, and Maya, two-months-old, fled Sudan after Ibrahim's death sentence for apostasy was reversed on appeal. She had been imprisoned since January on the charge, and gave birth to Maya while incarcerated.

Although she was raised by an Ethiopian Orthodox Christian mother, Ibrahim is considered Muslim under Sharia law because that is the faith of her estranged father. She was arrested after her family filed charges against her. The case was dismissed on June 23.

The family spent a week in Europe before flying to Philadelphia, and finally to New Hampshire. Wani is a biochemical engineer who has lived in Manchester since 1998.

New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte welcomed Ibrahim to her new home.

"I'm so happy that Meriam and her family are safely home in New Hampshire," she said in a statement. "She has inspired the world with her extraordinary courage and resilience, and I join all Granite Staters in extending a warm welcome to Meriam and her family."

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