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Tuesday, 20 October 2020

American couple stuck in Qatar in child death case can leave: US ambassador

Reuters , Tuesday 2 Dec 2014
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Qatar will soon lift a travel ban that has kept a US couple from leaving the Gulf Arab state even after their convictions were overturned in the death of their African-born adopted daughter, the US ambassador to Qatar said on Tuesday.

The Qatar government is lifting a travel ban to allow Matthew and Grace Huang to leave the country on Wednesday, US Ambassador Dana Shell Smith said on Twitter.

A Qatari appeals court overturned the couple's convictions on Sunday over the death of their 8-year-old daughter, Gloria, after finding a lower court made errors in the case.

"Huangs can go tomorrow," Smith said on Tuesday in a post on Twitter that said all the requirements have been met with the government of Qatar for their departure.

The US couple's passports were seized at Doha airport as they sought to leave Qatar after their convictions were overturned, and they were told a new arrest warrant had been issued, family spokesman Eric Volz said earlier this week.

Volz could not be reached for comment but had previously said a lawyer for the couple filed an application on Monday to the attorney general's office in Doha, requesting the travel ban be lifted.

The Huangs were arrested in January 2013 after an autopsy found their daughter died of "cachexia and dehydration." Cachexia is an irreversible loss of body mass. They were convicted in connection with her death in April.

The couple said Gloria suffered from malnutrition-related diseases since they adopted her from Ghana at age 4. 

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