The Egyptian American charity worker who was sent to prison for three years in Cairo met with President Trump Friday at the White House.
“We are very happy to have her back home,” Trump said. “Thank you very much.”
The White House has been working for weeks with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to secure the release of Aya Hijazi, 30, as well as her husband Mohamed Hassanein and four other humanitarian workers.
Wade McMullen, managing attorney at the Robert F Kennedy Human Rights organization which has been advocating on Hijazi’s behalf, told National Public Radio that Sisi’s visit to Washington came during “a short window of time before the final verdict” in Hijazi’s case.
McMullen said during the trip, “senior administration officials were engaging with Egyptian officials on Aya’s case.”
Hijazi became the face of Egypt’s crackdown in 2014, She had her husband were sentenced to prison on May 1,2014 on child abuse and trafficking charges that have been widely criticized and dismissed by multiple human rights workers and U.S. officials as false.
Hijazi is a graduate of George Mason University and grew up in northern Virginia. There was virtually no evidence brought against her, her husband or the four humanitarian workers.