BACK WITH FAMILY—Fanta Jawara, center, a Maryland woman imprisoned last year while visiting her native Gambia, breaks down upon being reunited with her family on Thursday evening March 2,, at the international arrival area of Dulles International Airport, in Frederick, Md. From left: children Aminata and Sarah and her husband, Ebrima Jawara. (Dan Gross /The Frederick News-Post via AP)
FREDERICK, Md. (AP)—A Maryland woman imprisoned last year while visiting her native Gambia is back with her family in the United States.
News outlets report that Fanta Jawara arrived at Dulles International Airport on Thursday night, embracing her husband and daughters and greeting a crowd of supporters. She says she’s “happy to be home.”
Jawara is a naturalized U.S. citizen from Frederick. She and 17 others were sentenced to three years in prison after their arrest on charges of unlawful assembly, conspiracy and incitement to violence during an April anti-government protest. Jawara contends she was a bystander.
She was released on bond in December after strongman ruler Yahya Jammeh lost the presidential election to Adama Barrow.
Jammeh stepped down Jan. 21 after a tense political standoff, clearing the way for Jawara’s return.