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After Acquittal, Qatar Detains U.S. Couple In Daughter's Death


Matthew and Grace Huang are not coming home just yet. They spent almost a year in jail in Qatar for the death of their 8-year-old daughter. Yesterday the Huangs were acquitted of any wrongdoing. That's when their story went wrong again as NPR's Sam Sanders reports.

SAM SANDERS, BYLINE: On Sunday, Matthew Huang and his wife sounded eager to go home.

MATTHEW HUANG: Grace and I want to go home and be reunited with our sons. And we have been unable to grieve our daughter's death.

SANDERS: But hours before the Huangs were to fly home to California, officials detained them once again, claiming a further appeal of their case. The Huangs had been living in Qatar since 2012 when Matthew Huang took an engineering job there. In January of 2013, their 8-year-old daughter, Gloria, died after refusing to eat for days. She had suffered from malnutrition and a parasitic condition since the Huangs adopted her from Ghana when she was 4. During their trial, a Qatari prosecutor suggested the Huangs starved their daughter to traffic her or sell her organs. While fighting for their release, Matthew Huang told Yahoo News those suspicions were racially motivated.

HUANG: I believe that authorities in Qatar suspected fowl play because we are Asians, and we adopted three children from Africa who are black.

SANDERS: Sunday, Secretary of State John Kerry once again called for the Huangs' immediate release. Sam Sanders, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Sam Sanders
Sam Sanders is a correspondent and host of It's Been a Minute with Sam Sanders at NPR. In the show, Sanders engages with journalists, actors, musicians, and listeners to gain the kind of understanding about news and popular culture that can only be reached through conversation. The podcast releases two episodes each week: a "deep dive" interview on Tuesdays, as well as a Friday wrap of the week's news.