Amer­i­can woman ac­quit­ted af­ter 3 years of de­ten­tion

The Washington Times Daily - - WORLD -

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.

Hi­jazi

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