Trump is using Aya Hegazy’s release to enhance popularity: MPs

Sarah El-Sheikh
4 Min Read

Statements of US president Donald Trump about his efforts of getting Aya Hegazy released raised concerns about the absence of an Egyptian response to the issue, as members of parliament (MPs) claim that Trump is using the case to demonstrate his powers.

The statements came during his speech two days ago, held on the occasion of his first 100 days in office. Trump spoke about his achievements during this period, considering Hegazy’s release among them.

Hegazy and her husband, along with a further six defendants, were imprisoned for three years pending trial over accusations of child abuse and human trafficking through the Beladi Foundation.

TV presenter Lamis El-Hadidy expressed outrage over Trump’s statements and called on Egypt to provide an official response, noting that the statements are unpleasant and include inaccurate information.

Trump said that he was proud to work with the Egyptian government last week to bring Hegazy home after she was in prison for the past three years. He claimed that Obama had worked on the case for three years and did not achieve anything, stating that Hegazy was only released after his meeting with Al-Sisi.

He also added that Hegazy would have remained in prison for 28 years if she would not have been released now.

Daily News Egypt called MPs from the committee of foreign affairs, seeking clarification on Egypt’s stance on such statements and reasons why it did not provide any response to the issue since Trump’s meeting with Hegazy that took place only days after her release.

MP Tarek El-Khouly depicted the situation as propaganda by Trump, who is boasting of his achievements, which does not require any official response, as the American president is politicising the issue for his own benefits. He added that any response by Egypt will impact relations between both countries, which have witnessed major improvements recently.

He continued claiming that the release did not happen through a presidential pardon but based on a court verdict, which proves that Egypt’s judiciary works independently.

Additionally, Mohamed Al-Araby, the head of the committee, said that Egypt will not provide any official response, saying that this is out of respect to the US, and that talks between presidents should not be made public in such ways, saying that Trump is only using the issue to boast of his achievements, looking for domestic political gains.

Following her release, Hegazy was taken to the US on a military flight with her husband Mohamed Hassanein, meeting Trump only one day after arriving in the US.

Government officials and MPs previously rejected any talk on Trump’s involvement in Hegazy’s release, stressing that she was only released after concluding her legal trial and fulfilling all conditions for her release.

However, any response would be very late anyway, as already on the day following Hegazy’s release, the White House released a statement praising the US president’s efforts in securing her release.

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