A Frederick woman is back home with family almost a year after she was imprisoned in Gambia.

Fanta Jawara was sent to prison in Gambia late last April when she took a trip to visit extended family.

Jawara, an American citizen, was accused of participating in an illegal protest by that country's sitting president.

She was eventually freed in December when a new president was elected in Gambia. However, Jawara was not allowed to leave the country until the legitimacy of that election was settled.

The Richardson Center for Global Engagement helped negotiate her eventual release.

"No American should ever feel abandoned when taken hostage or political prisoner," said the center's Executive Director Mickey Bergman.

Fanta Jawara arrived at Dulles Airport Thursday to a large crowd of family and friends. The mother of two said she appreciated everyone's support.

"I'm so glad to be home and be reunited with my family and all my friends," she said.