According to her lawyer, President Donald Trump helped secure the release.
30-year-old Egyptian/American Aya Hijazi shook hands in the Oval Office with President Trump Friday.
“First and foremost, there have been countless number of people advocating for Aya Hijazi’s freedom,” Hijazi’s lawyer told NBC News. “I think Trump and his team deserve credit for making this a priority at the most critical time in her case.”
NBC News reports the breakthrough in Hijazi’s case came after President Trump met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. President Trump told Sisi, “You have a great friend and ally in the United States and in me.”
Hijazi and her husband were arrested in a 2014 crackdown on opposition and liberal activists
She was held for trial far longer than allowed under Egyptian law, and was finally acquitted Sunday on human trafficking and child exploitation charges. Those allegations are considered baseless by the U.S.
Hijazi’s husband, an Egyptian national, was also released.
The Trump administration has been working to reset relations with Egypt after former President Obama’s hardline stance against Sisi’s administration.
With Hijazi smiling by his side in the Oval Office, President Trump said, “We are very happy to have Aya Hijazi back home, and it’s a great honor to have her in the Oval Office with her brother and thank you very much.”
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