Another great move by the Trump administration! They were proactive in securing the release of Aya Hijazi. Hijazi’s release was negotiated with Egypt by President Trump and his aides.
They worked for several weeks with Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sissi (pictured above) to secure the freedom of Aya Hijazi, 30, a U.S. citizen, as well as her husband, Mohamed Hassanein, who is Egyptian, and four other humanitarian workers. Trump dispatched a U.S. government aircraft to Cairo to bring Hijazi and her family to Washington.
The Obama administration unsuccessfully pressed Sissi’s government for their release. It was not until Trump moved to reset U.S. relations with Egypt by embracing Sissi at the White House on April 3 — he publicly hailed the autocrat’s leadership as “fantastic” and offered the U.S. government’s “strong backing” — that Egypt’s posture changed. Last Sunday, a court in Cairo dropped all charges against Hijazi and the others:
Video: The moment of Aya Hijazi and her co-defendants’ acquittal:
— Mai El-Sadany (@maitelsadany) April 16, 2017
Hijazi co-founded the Belady Foundation in 2013 with her husband Mohamed Hassanein shortly after graduating from George Mason University. The Cairo-based NGO provided resources and counseling to abandoned or runaway children.
In May 2014, authorities detained Hijazi, Mohammad and six others volunteers with the organization on accusations that they physically and sexually abused these children, and included the children in anti-government protests. They had been held in pre-trial detention ever since.
Throughout the course of their detention, hearings were adjourned before they began over six times. The verdict was originally scheduled for March, just before Egyptian President Abul Fattah el-Sisi’s first meeting with President Donald Trump in Washington.
Read more: PBS