Sudanese woman married to Manchester resident originally sentenced to death for apostasy safely arrives in Rome

July 24, 2014

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) today welcomed news that Meriam Ibrahim, her two young children and her husband Daniel Wani, a Manchester resident, have safely arrived in Rome. Shaheen and Ayotte have been working with the State Department for months to secure her safe release after she had been jailed and sentenced to death by hanging by a Sudanese court for refusing to renounce her Christian faith. Ibrahim was also subsequently barred from leaving Sudan after her initial release from prison in June.

“We’re relieved that Meriam and her family have finally been allowed to leave Sudan and travel to safety in Rome, and we’re delighted that they were welcomed by Pope Francis,” Shaheen and Ayotte said. “No one should be persecuted for exercising their right of religious freedom, and Meriam’s unwavering faith and determination in the face of danger are an inspiration to us all.”

“We appreciate the collaborative international effort led by our State Department, our Embassy in Khartoum, and our international partners, including the Italians, that reunited the family,” the Senators continued. “We’ll continue to assist the family as needed.”

Shaheen’s and Ayotte’s 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.