After being jailed in Gambia, an emotional reunion for Frederick woman

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Fanta Jawara was surprised to learn when she arrived on the tarmac Thursday night that a large crowd of cameras were on hand to witness the reunion with her family after she was held as a political prisoner in Gambia for the better part of a year.

Tears streamed down the Frederick mother’s face as she embraced her teenage daughters and husband in a narrow hallway just past the customs office.

“I was not expecting this,” Jawara said as she met with a larger crowd of extended family and news crews. “I feel happy to be home.”

Jawara, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Frederick, had been held in Gambia’s notorious Mile 2 Prison for nearly eight months after being arrested near a protest in the country’s capital of Banjul last April.

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