President Donald Trump’s administration has negotiated the release of an American held in an Egyptian prison for three years, according to numerous reports.
The Washington Post states that 30-year-old American-Egyptian charity worker Aya Hijazi was held by Egyptian authorities after becoming “the global face of Egypt’s brutal crackdown on civil society.”
The outlet goes on to state that Hijazi, who grew up in Vermont, was running a rehabilitation center for homeless children in Cairo.
According to another Washington Post article, Egyptian security officials deemed the organization an “anti-Egyptian scheme” and accused her of running a child trafficking ring, a claim humanitarian groups and U.S. officials deemed false.
That same Washington Post piece accuses the Obama administration of “ignoring” Hijazi’s plight following her arrest and subsequent imprisonment.
“When Hijazi was smeared as a sex criminal and a U.S. secret agent on Egyptian state television; when her pretrial detention passed Egypt’s legal limit of two years; when her case was postponed seven times on ridiculous pretexts — the State Department did not offer a single word of defense or public protest,” it reads.
According to Business Insider, when Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sissi visited the White House earlier this month, “relations with Egypt appeared to stabilize.”
Subsequently, the outlet reports, Hijazi was freed.
“We’re crying with relief to have [Hijazi and her husband] out,” said Hijazi’s brother, Basel. “We’re very grateful that President Trump personally engaged with the issue. Working closely with the Trump administration was very important for my family at this critical time. It let us be reunited as a family. We’re so grateful.”