Trump says 'no deal' was made for charity worker

US Secretary of Defense James Mattis takes questions during a briefing at the Pentagon in Washington DC
US Secretary of Defense James Mattis takes questions during a briefing at the Pentagon in Washington DC
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22 April, 2017

Trump reportedly "made clear how important it was to him" to have her freed. Both had been in prison since May 1, 2014 on charges of child abuse and trafficking, which US officials dismissed as false, the Post adds.

Details of their arrival were first reported by The Washington Post.

Egypt had never produced evidence of a crime in the case of Hijazi and Hassanein and had delayed their trial several times. Hijazi was released from jail on Tuesday.

USA officials had raised Hijazi's case with the Egyptians soon after Trump took office on January 20, the official said. Hijazi, an Egyptian-American charity worker was freed after almost three years of detention in Egypt returning to the U.S., Thursday, April 20, 2017.

They were acquitted last Sunday of child abuse and trafficking charges that were dismissed as bogus by U.S. officials.

Aya Hijazi, an Egyptian-American aid worker, meets with President Donald Trump in the Oval office of the White House in Washington, Friday, April 21, 2017.

Hijazi's mother told NPR the charges were completely unfounded. The couple's Egyptian legal team "completely eviscerated any shred of doubt that they were not guilty", McMullen says. Mursi, a Muslim Brotherhood member, had been elected the previous year. Human rights activists have given alarming accounts that the Sisi regime is "disappearing" hundreds of people - that is, illegally detaining and holding them in secret locations, where it is believed they are often tortured.

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A statement from Sisi's office said Egypt was keen "on further advancing bilateral relations under the new American administration".

After that meeting came a break in the Hijazi case, and most analysts see a direct link between the two.

"We are very happy to have Aya back home and it's a great honor to have her in the Oval Office", President Trump told reporters. An administration official told the Washington Post today that there had been "assurance from the highest levels [of Sisi's government] that whatever the verdict was, Egypt would use presidential authority to send her home".

The charges against them were dropped on Sunday.

Human rights groups said the charges were unfounded, and that the arrests were part of a crackdown on nongovernmental organizations. "These last 72 hours have been understandingly overwhelming but they're in good spirits ..."

"Just talking with them tonight, their spark is still there to make the world a better place", McMullen said.


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