Egyptian-American woman freed in Egypt goes home on US military plane


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By Steve HollandWASHINGTON, April 20 (Reuters) - An Egyptian-American woman
detained in Egypt for nearly three years on human trafficking
charges was flown back to the United States on Thursday on a
U.S. military plane, accompanied by a top White House official,
a senior administration official said.
    Aya Hijazi, an Egyptian who holds U.S. citizenship, was
acquitted by a Cairo court on Sunday along with seven others who
had worked with street children. Hijazi was released from jail
on Tuesday, having been held for nearly three years.
    She was flown to Joint Base Andrews, the U.S. military
airfield on the outskirts of Washington.
    President Donald Trump had privately asked Egyptian
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to help out in the case when Sisi
visited the White House on April 3, said the official, who spoke
on condition of anonymity.
    Trump did not mention the case publicly when he met with
Sisi.
    U.S. officials had raised Hijazi's case with the Egyptians
soon after Trump took office on Jan. 20, the official said.
    Hijazi was accompanied on the flight by Dina Powell, the
deputy White House national security adviser for strategy.
Powell had been in the region traveling with U.S. Defense
Secretary James Mattis.
    Hijazi, 30, founded Belady, a non-governmental organization
that promotes a better life for street children.
    She had been in custody for 33 months in violation of
Egyptian law, which states that the maximum period for pretrial
detention is 24 months.


 (Reporting By Steve Holland; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)
 ((Steve.a.holland@thomsonreuters.com;
www.twitter.com/steveholland1; 202 898 8300; Reuters Messaging:
steve.holland.reuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: USA TRUMP/EGYPT



This article appears in: Politics


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