Trump meets freed Egypt aid worker in Oval Office

Cheryl Sanders
April 24, 2017

Not all actions under President Trump have been disgusting, and that rang very true recently when Egyptian-American Aya Hijazi and her husband Mohamed Hassanein, prisoners held under false charges for years in Egypt, were finally released after quiet negotiations were made between Trump's administration and Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sissi over the course of several weeks.

"At the end of the day we're just pleased that she's back home ... and that the president and the team successfully worked to bring her back home", White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Friday.

She was released from jail on Tuesday after almost three years of detention on human trafficking charges widely dismissed as bogus by human rights groups.

Aya and her husband, the founders of an NGO which looked after street children, had been charged with human trafficking, abduction, and sexual abuse for pornography, among other accusations.

President Donald Trump is known for his controversial and inflammatory Twitter account.

Her release comes on the heels of President Trump's meeting with Egyptian President al-Sisi.

But it was apparently in the meeting after those comments that Trump mentioned Hijazi's detention to el-Sissi. Hijazi, an Egyptian-American charity worker was freed after almost three.

According to a transcript released Sunday evening by the AP, Mr. Trump asked reporter Julie Pace before she could flesh out a question about his first 100 days in office, "did you see Aya", who had been detained in Egypt since 2014. Trump said during Sissi's visit that "we are very much behind" the Egyptian leader.

Trump also negotiated the release of four other humanitarian workers.

"The case of Aya Hijazi and her co-defendants has been nothing less than a travesty of justice", Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director for Human Rights Watch, said in late March after yet another trial delay. An administration official told the Washington Post today that there had been "assurance from the highest levels [of Sisi's government] that whatever the verdict was, Egypt would use presidential authority to send her home".

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