woman who had faced execution for conversion arrives in U.S.
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[August 01, 2014]
By Scott Malone
MANCHESTER N.H. (Reuters) - A Sudanese
woman who was sentenced to death for converting from Islam to
Christianity, then detained after her conviction was quashed, arrived in
the United States on Thursday.
Mariam Yahya Ibrahim arrived in Manchester, New Hampshire, where
she has relatives and where she was greeted by a crowd of people
from the local Sudanese immigrant community who sang and handed her
bunches of flowers.
"I can't describe the feeling," said her husband, Daniel Wani, who
had traveled with Ibrahim and their two children from Rome, where
the couple had been recovering after Ibrahim's release by the
"We are so tired," Wani told reporters at Manchester airport. "The
ordeal is over."
Ibrahim smiled and waved to the crowd of about three dozen
supporters, but she did not speak publicly.
Since leaving Sudan after her sentence and detention triggered
international outrage, Ibrahim had been in Rome, where she met with
Pope Francis along with her husband and two children.
She first touched down in the United States at Philadelphia
International Airport, where she briefly met with that city's mayor,
"It's very clear she is a tremendously strong woman," Nutter told
reporters after greeting Ibrahim and giving her family a toy version
of the Liberty Bell, one of the city's historic artifacts. "Ibrahim
is a world freedom fighter."
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Ibrahim, 27, was sentenced to death in May on charges of converting
from Islam to Christianity and marrying a Christian South
Her conviction was quashed in June, but Sudan's government accused
her of trying to leave the country with falsified papers, preventing
her departure for the United States.
Renouncing the Islamic faith is punishable by death under many
countries' interpretation of Islamic law.
(Additional reporting by Daniel Kelley in Philadelphia; Editing by
Bill Trott and Ken Wills)
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