|ALL SMILES: Meriam Ibrahim arrives at an airport in Manchester, |
New Hampshire, with husband Daniel Wani
It brought to an end an 18-month ordeal which began when she was denounced to the authorities by her family for having abandoned Islam.
She was also accused of adultery for marrying Daniel, a Christian Sudanese man with US citizenship who lives in Manchester.
Ibrahim was sentenced to death by hanging and 100 lashes on May 15, 2014 while eight months pregnant after a Sudanese court, enforcing Sharia law, concluded that she must be Muslim because her father is Muslim.
She strenuously denies this and insists she was raised a Christian.
After the conviction Ibrahim was given three days to renounce her faith or face death. She refused to do so. She gave birth to her youngest child, a daughter, while shackled to the floor in a Sudanese jail cell.
Her treatment by the Sudanese authorities in Khartoum triggered global outrage.
It took prolonged negotiations to secure Ms Ibrahim’s release, initially involving South Sudan, where she was born.
The cause was then taken up by the Italy, the holders of the EU presidency, and backed by the Pope.
She was taken to Rome where, after being greeted by Pope Francis in the Vatican, she was allowed a few days to recuperate.
"It is an exciting day, we are really happy," said Lual Deng, president of the Sudanese Community in Manchester.
In New Hampshire, Manchester's close-knit 500-strong southern Sudan community was overjoyed at her return.
Ms Ibrahim was finally released on June 23, but detained when she tried to leave Sudan three days later.
Welcome to your new home, Meriam. I pray much joy and many blessings on your new life. Thank you for being such a great example of faith and courage. Hope you are not too disillusioned with the pettiness and absurdity of American politics and the politicization of the church.