Welcome Home, Aya!
From the New York Times: WASHINGTON — The Trump administration flew Aya Hijazi, an Egyptian-American aid worker, home to the United States on Thursday evening after negotiating her release from three years of captivity in Egypt on charges of child abuse and human trafficking, two senior administration officials said. In a statement, lawyers for Ms. Hijazi said that they had “worked closely with the Trump administration to ensure Aya’s case was prioritized at the highest levels, and we are deeply grateful to President Trump for his personal engagement in resolving Aya’s case.”
Egyptian officials had charged Ms. Hijazi and her husband with human trafficking and abusing children, and they faced years in prison. Human rights advocates had called the case “bizarre” and said that it lacked credibility.
The case had become a symbol of Mr. Sisi’s authoritarian rule in Egypt since he took power in 2013. His government has increasingly sought to control all forms of dissent, and Ms. Hijazi was labeled an agitator by Egyptian authorities.White House officials said Mr. Trump took a personal interest in her case. He had been briefed about it in the days leading up to Mr. Sisi’s visit, and he instructed his aides to meet with Egyptian officials to lobby for her release.“He just said, ‘Let’s bring her home,’” said an American official, who insisted on anonymity to discuss sensitive diplomatic matters.United States officials met with the visiting Egyptian delegation when it arrived in Washington before Mr. Sisi’s visit, and made clear that the president was focused on her fate and wanted her freed.
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