The release from an Egyptian prison last week of Aya Hijazi was a victory for President Donald Trump.
Hijazi, an American who grew up in Falls Church, Virginia, was arrested after providing aid to street children in Cairo, along with her Egyptian husband and four co-workers. The six were held on child abuse and trafficking charges that experts agree were unfounded, and the case never moved forward during their three years in prison. The Obama administration worked to get them released, but made no progress with President Abdel Fatah el-Sissi, not least because of its consistent condemnation of el-Sissi and his brutal crackdown on freedoms in Egypt.
The release of the six was an advance in relations between the United States and Egypt, which have been rocky. If there’s a worry here, it’s what Trump had to signal to get them freed. Trump has been working to better relations with Egypt, an important ally, and lauded the leader on his visit to the White House this month.
The government of el-Sissi is horrible, but Trump’s embrace led to freedom for these aid workers. The challenge for Trump is to make sure el-Sissi is induced to keep moving toward more humane behavior, not emboldened to keep trampling human rights. — The editorial board