Sunday, 18 September 2016

White House wants release of US-Egyptian held in prison for over two years

The United States is calling on Egypt
to drop all charges leveled against, Aya
Hijazi, a US-Egyptian dual citizen who
has been held in an Egyptian jail for
more than two years.

This call was contained in astatement
issued on Friday (September 16) by
the National Security Council’s (NSC)
Spokesperson, Ned Price.
According to the statement, Aya is a
U.S.-Egyptian dual citizen who was
detained in Egypt while doing
humanitarian work till her arrest in
2014. Her family met with the deputy
National Security Advisor (DNSA) Avril
Haines, on Friday at the White House,
following which the demand for release
was made.
‘‘DNSA Haines reiterated the
President’s deep concern for the
welfare of all American citizens held
abroad, and assured Hijazi’s family that
the United States will continue to offer
her all possible consular support,’‘ the
statement readAya Hijazi grew up in the US, but after
college she returned to her native
Egypt to start a foundation, Belady –
Arabic for my country, dedicated to
helping street children.
That initiative according to her family,
made her a target of Egypt’s
authoritarian regime and has landed
her in jail on trumped up charges for
the last two years since she was
arrested together with her husband
Mohammed Hassanein.
Egyptian authorities accuse Hijazi of
abusing children in her care and
engaging in human trafficking,
kidnapping, sexual exploitation and
torture. But the trial has been delayed
multiple times with human rights
groups deploring the rather snail paced
process.
Human rights groups have said the
charges are fabricated and part of a
crackdown by Egypt’s government on
civil society.