Qatar Acquits US Couple, Blocks Them From Leaving

Grace, Matthew Huang had been convicted of starving adopted daughter
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 30, 2014 9:37 AM CST
Qatar Acquits US Couple, Blocks Them From Leaving
American couple Grace and Matthew Huang arrive at the Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar, Sunday, Nov. 30, 2014.   (AP Photo/Osama Faisal)

Qatar today overturned the conviction of an American couple accused of starving their adopted daughter to death, but a family rep now tells the AP that Grace and Matthew Huang have been blocked from leaving the country. The Huangs had been sentenced to three years in the 2013 death of 8-year-old Grace Huang; prosecutors said the Huangs starved her so as to sell her organs. New witnesses testified that Grace was seen eating the day before her death. "This negates the charge that she was prevented from eating, a charge that the court of first instance used as a base for its initial ruling," wrote the judge, as per Sky News.

The Huangs, who have been separated from two other adopted children, wasted little time in getting to the airport in Doha, where they were met by the US ambassador to Qatar and subsequently blocked when attempting to pass through immigration. It's unclear what happens next. "It has been a long and emotional trial for me and my family, and Grace and I want to go home and be reunited with our sons," Matthew Huang said after the ruling, calling their conviction a "sham." "We have been unable to grieve our daughter." (More Qatar stories.)

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