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Shaheen, left, and Ayotte 

Senators rally behind NH man's wife facing death in Sudan for being Christian

MANCHESTER — U.S. Sens. Kelly Ayotte and Jean Shaheen of New Hampshire are cosponsors legistlation that would grant U.S. residency to a Manchester man’s wife, who is imprisoned in Sudan with her two children and was sentenced to death last month.

Ayotte, R-N.H., Shaheen, D-N.H., are among five senators sponsoring the bipartisan bill, which was announced Friday in a release.

Meriam Yahia Ibrahim was sentenced to hang last month after being convicted of apostasy, leaving Islam for Christianity. She said she was raised Christian and refused when offered a chance to renounce her faith.

Ibrahim is married to Daniel Wani, who immigrated to New Hampshire in 1998 and is a U.S. citizen, and gave birth to the couple's second child on May 28. The baby girl and the couple's toddler son are staying with their mother in a Khartoum prison.

A Sudan appeals court began considering the case this week.

"Miriam's situation and that of her two young children is unconscionable and unacceptable," Shaheen said in the release.

Ayotte called the death sentence a violation of fundamental human rights and said she would not rest until the mother and children have been released.

"We must act quickly to ensure their safety," Ayotte said. "This bill would expedite the legal process and allow Miriam and her two young children to come to the United States."

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