Aya Hijazi returns to U.S. from Egyptian prison

"We had some obviously very productive and helpful discussions which resulted in her being able to come back to the United States".

Hijazi, a dual national, was born in Egypt and grew up in Falls Church, Virginia, a Washington suburb.

"We urge the Government of Egypt to build on this important first step by releasing all those who have been wrongly imprisoned, upholding its global human rights obligations, and respecting the Egyptian people's right to freedom of expression and rule of law", they said in a statement. Hijazi was released from jail on Tuesday, having been held for almost three years.

President Donald Trump had privately asked Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to help out in the case when Sisi visited the White House on April 3, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Aya Hijazi, an Egyptian-American woman, as flown back to the United States on Thursday on a US military plane, accompanied by a top White House official, a senior administration official said.

Now she and her husband are back in the U.S.: They arrived Thursday night at Joint Base Andrews on a military flight from Cairo, where they met Hijazi's family and McMullen.




A hearing was delayed seven times during the course of three years. Their detention well exceeded the Egyptian legal limit of two years for pretrial and provisional detention, and human rights groups maintained they had not been allowed access to their lawyers.

Hijazi was accompanied by her brother, Basel. Human rights activists have given alarming accounts that the Sisi regime is "disappearing" hundreds of people - that is, illegally detaining and holding them in secret locations, where it is believed they are often tortured.

Ms Hijazi, a U.S. citizen with dual nationality, and her Egyptian husband, Mohamed Hassanein, set up the Belady Foundation in 2013 to aid street children.

Human rights groups said the charges were unfounded, and that the arrests were part of a crackdown on nongovernmental organizations. The State Department has said they are living up to the terms of the deal. "These last 72 hours have been understandingly overwhelming but they're in good spirits ..."

Rather than spending money on a lavish wedding, the couple used their money to launch the Belady Foundation to help children who live on the streets in Cairo, human rights advocates wrote in a piece published by The Huffington Post. I assume you all feel the same way about Trump.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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