SHAHEEN, AYOTTE WELCOME MERIAM IBRAHIM AND HER FAMILY TO MANCHESTER

July 31, 2014

(Washington, DC) - U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) this evening welcomed Meriam Ibrahim, her two children, and her husband Daniel Wani, a Manchester resident, to New Hampshire upon the family’s safe arrival at Manchester-Boston Regional Airport. The Senators remained in Washington tonight because of votes in the Senate. 

In May, Ibrahim was sentenced to death by a Sudanese court for refusing to renounce her Christian faith. She was also subsequently barred from leaving Sudan after her initial release from prison in June.  

“I’m so glad to know that Meriam and her family have finally arrived safely in Manchester,” said Shaheen. “No one should ever have to undergo the hardships they’ve experienced in recent months because of Meriam exercising her basic right of religious freedom. Her imprisonment and death sentence represented an abhorrent violation of fundamental human rights, but her strength in the face of such adversity was truly inspirational." 

“I’m so happy that Meriam and her family are safely home in New Hampshire,” said Ayotte. “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.”

Shaheen and Ayotte have spearheaded congressional efforts to ensure Meriam’s safe release from Sudan. Their offices have worked closely with the Department of Homeland Security and State Department on behalf of Mr. Wani to secure his wife’s safe release. Last month, they introduced a bipartisan bill to encourage the family’s release.  Shaheen and Ayotte also supported a bipartisan resolution that cleared the Senate unanimously condemning Ibrahim’s death sentence and urging her and her children’s immediate release.