American woman acquitted after 3 years of detention
CAIRO | An Egyptian court on Sunday acquitted Aya Hijazi, a dual U.S.-Egyptian citizen who has been held in detention for nearly three years over accusations related to a nongovernmental organization she founded to aid street children.
Authorities arrested Ms. Hijazi, her husband and six others in May 2014 on charges of abusing children that were widely dismissed as bogus by human rights groups and senior U.S. officials, who called for her release.
They were arrested as part of a wider clampdown on civil society, especially following the military overthrow of an elected Islamist president in 2013. Prosecutors provided little if any evidence to support the allegations.
Rep. Donald S. Beyer Jr., Virginia Democrat, released a statement expressing his joy and relief for Ms. Hijazi’s release.
“This wonderful news was a long time coming,” he said.
Mr. Beyer was among several members of Congress who have called on Egypt to release Ms. Hijazi.
President Trump did not publicly mention the case when he welcomed Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah elSissi to the White House this month, but a senior White House official had said ahead of the meeting that the case would be addressed.