Freed Egyptian-American Prisoner Returns Home Following President Trump’s Intervention

No ransom pallets needed!

Aya Hijazi, 30, was flown back to the US on Thursday night with her family on a US government jet.

Ms Hijazi, whose charity cared for street children, faced child abuse charges branded false by rights groups. Her release was reportedly agreed before Mr Trump met Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi this month.

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

The couple were arrested a year later along with four other humanitarian workers, whose released has also been secured. They were acquitted last Sunday of child abuse and trafficking charges that were dismissed as bogus by US officials. BBC

President Trump and his aides worked for several weeks with Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sissi to secure the freedom of Aya Hijazi, 30, a U.S. citizen, as well as her husband, Mohamed Hassanein, who is Egyptian, and four other humanitarian workers. Trump dispatched a U.S. government aircraft to Cairo to bring Hijazi and her family to Washington…

The Obama administration unsuccessfully pressed Sissi’s government for their release. It was not until Trump moved to reset U.S. relations with Egypt by embracing Sissi at the White House on April 3 — he publicly hailed the autocrat’s leadership as “fantastic” and offered the U.S. government’s “strong backing” — that Egypt’s posture changed. Last Sunday, a court in Cairo dropped all charges against Hijazi and the others…

A senior administration official said that no quid pro quo had been offered for Hijazi’s release but that there had been “assurance from the highest levels [of Sissi’s government] that whatever the verdict was, Egypt would use presidential authority to send her home.” The official said the U.S. side interpreted that to mean that a guilty verdict and sentencing would be followed by a pardon from Sissi, but they were pleasantly surprised.

The dropping of charges set in motion the release of Hijazi and Hassanein from custody and their journey to the United States, which was personally overseen by Trump and detailed Thursday by the senior administration official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the national security sensitivities of the case. WAPO

Video:  President Trump Meets with Aya Hijazi, Egyptian-American Who Was Freed After 3 Years in Cairo Jail

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