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Sunday, September 26, 2021

Huangs’ Qatar saga comes to a close

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Matthew and Grace Huang boarded a plane out of Qatar on Wednesday afternoon.
Matthew and Grace Huang boarded a plane out of Qatar on Wednesday afternoon.

Three days after being acquitted on charges related to the death of their eight-year-old daughter, Grace and Matthew Huang are leaving Qatar.

The American couple’s spokesperson, Eric Volz, tweeted just before 3pm that they were in the departure lounge of Hamad International Airport.

https://twitter.com/EricVolz/status/540112143665070080

He later added that they had been escorted through the airport by US Ambassador Dana Shell Smith and that the couple was aboard the aircraft.

The Huangs’ closely watched case received even more international media attention this week after Volz accused the Qatar government of working to block their departure from Qatar despite their acquittal.

While he initially said a new arrest warrant had been issued, the holdup appeared to be caused by a pre-existing travel ban on the Huangs that – like in other cases of expats involved in legal challenges in Qatar – took several days to lift following the judge’s ruling.

The US couple was arrested in January 2013 after their adopted daughter, Gloria, died. The Ghana-born girl suffered from an eating disorder that caused her to binge on food and then refuse it for several days.

She had not eaten for four days prior to collapsing and being brought to a hospital, where she later died. Matthew Huang later argued that he thought Gloria would come out of her “hunger strike” as she had done before, and appeared healthy in the days leading up to her death.

A judge, however, siding with the prosecutor’s arguments that the parents should have sought medical attention earlier and in March convicted the couple of child endangerment, sentencing them to three years in prison.

They appealed the ruling and were cleared of the charge on Sunday. The judge hearing that case said evidence showed the Huangs were caring parents and pointed to discrepancies in forensic evidence that failed to conclusively determine how Gloria died.

15 COMMENTS

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Saffy
Saffy
6 years ago

Finally Justice served… happy ending… and I am sure, Gloria will be so happy up there, to see you both free and leaving to the US.

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago

Love the spokesmen tweet, passed immigration but not in the clear yet… Coz any second police jeeps will pull up on the runways with choppers hovering and pick them up again… Boy is the PR agency gonna milk the story… Can’t wait to hear their interviews once they land

AEC
AEC
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

For better or worse that’s how the game works. If you wanna play football you play by international rules.

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago
Reply to  AEC

No man don’t get me wrong… Believe me if I was a PR firm representing them I’d the same… Line up half a dozen interviews.. If the story picks on and there is a buzz created put them on prime time news .. One or two talk shows… Gauge public interest… If folks love the story line up a book deal maybe even a short movie… Given they both were financially drained I’m almost confident their PR firm paid they’re business seat tickets … Pretty sure Akbar didn’t give them an upgrade out of the kindness of his heart .. All the best to them and their two kids …

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

Akbar kindness of his heart

Never thought I would see those words in the same sentence….

thedrizzle96
thedrizzle96
6 years ago

Wasn’t there contention about the four days on the previous story?

wee_johnnie
wee_johnnie
6 years ago

Looks like they got an upgrade from Qatar Airways too. Hopefully a happy ending to this tale.

ChaTo
6 years ago

Justice delayed, is justice denied — having them free now, after being separated from their children, after spending about a year in jail … it is hard to call that “justice”.

brorick
brorick
6 years ago
Reply to  ChaTo

are you serious?! if these two were Qatari everyone would be up in arms about how they got released after their child dies.
I personally think they are innocent (a lot of people think otherwise, and I dont blame them) even so, if it wasn’t delayed I would be suspicious about it.

Desert Witch
Desert Witch
6 years ago

Finalement. I hope they find peace. What a wonderful Christmas they will now have, together at last.

Parwaiz Win
Parwaiz Win
6 years ago

The Huangs received moral support from many of the people who reside in Qatar…including me. My only hope is that our trust is not misplaced and I hope they too have learnt a valuable lesson…which is … they are not physicians and should any of their other children behave in the manner their little girl did … I hope they will immediately consult a qualified person. This whole episode is heartbreaking and I hope they find closure and forgive themselves for the untimely death of their little one.

DT
DT
6 years ago

SO GLAD YOU ARE FREE!

Expat Girl
Expat Girl
6 years ago

What a MIRACLE!!! I was so happy when they were found innocent, then so devastated to hear they were blocked at the airport. We have been checking in every few hours to see the latest, and I am SO THRILLED to read this. This brings a tear to my eye. I cannot even imagine the joy they felt to have that plane leave Qatar airspace. FANTASTIC!!

sadam
sadam
6 years ago

Thank Goodness for the American Ambassador to intervene. If they were some lowly South East Asians they’d be hanged by now.

AEC
AEC
6 years ago

Update: Huangs to sue their employer – MWH Global – http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-ff-1209-qatar-couple-20141209-story.html

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