Donald Trump Releases Video 'Welcoming Home' Egyptian-American Aya Hijazi
- Author: Salvatore Jensen Apr 25, 2017,
Apr 25, 2017, 15:56
President Trump shakes hands with Aya Hijazi, an Egyptian-American aid worker at the White House Friday in Washington, D.C.
"Hijazi brought the best of her American education and values to Egypt in an attempt to make the world a better place", Kerry Kennedy, president of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights (RFKHR), and Wade McMullen, RFKHR attorney, wrote in the Huff Po. The six were held on child abuse and trafficking charges that experts agree were unfounded, and the case never moved forward during their three years in prison.
Hijazi and her husband were acquitted earlier in April of the charges, which officials in the US said were unfounded. Hijazi and her husband, Mohamed Hassanein, had established a foundation to aid street children in 2013, but were arrested along with several others in 2014.
His position presents a clear contradiction with that of President Donald Trump, who has sought to improve ties with Egypt, stating that "we are very much behind Egypt" and that Sisi had done a "fantastic job" after their meeting at the White House earlier this month.
Egypt continues to fight active radical Islamic insurgencies in urban areas and the Sinai peninsula, and President Sisi is said to be close to the country's substantial Christian minority. -Egyptian citizen, is acquitted by an Egyptian court after almost three years of detention over accusations related to running a foundation dedicated to helping street children, Cairo, Sunday, April 16, 2017.
Aya Hijazi, 30, was flown back to the United States on Thursday night with her family on a USA government jet.
US officials had raised Hijazi's case with Egypt soon after Trump took office on January 20, aides said. "I said, 'I really would appreciate it if you would look into this and let her out'".
He made no public mention of her case at the time, and activists criticised the administration for glossing over Egypt's poor human rights record while focusing on trade and military cooperation.
Former President Barack Obama had worked on the case and "got zippo", Trump noted.
Trump sent a US government airplane to Cairo to bring the family to Washington, according to The Post.
She will also be greeted by his daughter, Ivanka, and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, reports the Washington Post, which broke the story.
Hijazi, a dual national, was born in Egypt and grew up in Falls Church, Virginia, a Washington suburb.
"Today, the President is proud to be welcoming her back to the White House and happy that she is back home on American soil", said Press Secretary Sean Spicer.