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Manchester husband allowed visit with shackled pregnant wife sentenced to death in Sudan for Christian beliefs

New Hampshire Union Leader

May 23. 2014 8:59PM

This image from Sudan captures the first time Daniel Wani, a U.S. citizen living in Manchester, was allowed to see his son, Martin, and wife, Meriam Ibrahim, since September after she was jailed for marrying a Christian. (Justice Center Sudan / MailOnline)

MANCHESTER — The pastor of a local Sudanese Christian church said he was overjoyed to learn that Daniel Wani of Manchester was reunited with his young son while his wife, Meriam Ibrahim Ishag, continues to be held in a Sudanese prison on a death sentence for being Christian.

“This is good news to me. I’m very happy,” said Pastor Monyoor Teng of Believers Christian Outreach Church at 140 Wilson St.

The British newspaper Daily Mail on Thursday published photographs of the reunion, in which the wheelchair-bound Wani was able to hold his 20-month-old son, Martin.

Ishag, who is eight months pregnant, was sentenced to death and 100 lashes earlier this month after a Sudanese court ruled she had violated Sharia law by converting to Christianity and marrying Wani, a Christian who has U.S. citizenship and lives in Manchester along with his brother, Gabriel.

Teng said he hopes that the reunion is a step toward obtaining asylum for Ishag. New Hampshire’s delegation to Congress has condemned the sentence and on Thursday U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., called on the Obama administration to offer Ishag asylum.

“We need help,” Teng said.

Ishag is in leg shackles, imprisoned in Khartoum with her 20-month-old son, Martin. She will be allowed to nurse her newborn for two years, after which she will be lashed and hanged.

Daniel Wani has been in Khartoum for the past year and has asked the U.S. Embassy to intercede, according to his brother, Gabriel Wani.

The brothers fled Sudan in 1998, immigrating to the United States and settling in Manchester. Daniel Wani became a U.S. citizen in 2005.

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