WASHINGTON – As Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry visited Washington this week, U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Dick Durbin (D-IL), and Mark Warner (D-VA) released the following statement today urging the release of Aya Hijazi, an Egyptian-American unjustly detained in Egypt since 2014:
“We remain deeply concerned about the ongoing detention of Aya Hijazi, a dual U.S. and Egyptian citizen and resident of Virginia who has been unfairly imprisoned by Egyptian authorities since May 2014,” the Senators said. “Her case has faced multiple delays, resulting in Ms. Hijazi spending more than two years awaiting trial for baseless accusations related to her humanitarian work aiding underprivileged children in Egypt.
“In the Trump Administration’s early meetings with Egyptian officials, including with Foreign Minister Shoukry, it is critical that the Egyptian government receive an unequivocal message that ensuring respect for human rights is a priority. Ms. Hijazi’s case is emblematic of a disturbing trend in Egypt of government crackdown on civil society groups and imprisonment of human rights activists. We call on the Administration to raise these issues and use all available measures to secure Ms. Hijazi’s release as quickly as possible so she can immediately return home to her family.”