WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and John McCain (R-Arizona) released the following statement on the release of Aya Hijazi and other humanitarian aid workers from prison in Egypt:
“We join the entire nation in welcoming home Aya Hijazi and her husband Mohamed Hassanein who have been wrongly imprisoned for the last three years in Egypt. President Trump has made this case a top priority, and we applaud him for working with the Government of Egypt to secure their long-overdue release, as well as the release of four of their colleagues.
“As we celebrate the return of these innocent individuals, the United States must continue to advocate for human rights in Egypt, which have been under attack by a series of executive actions and increasingly repressive laws aimed to weaken democratic institutions, limit freedom of assembly and free speech, and shut down civil society activities as well as NGOs such as the International Republican Institute, Freedom House, the National Democratic Institute and others. While we continue to support Egypt's fight against terrorism and extremism within its borders, there does not need to be a trade-off between security and human rights. We urge the Government of Egypt to build on this important first step by releasing all those who have been wrongly imprisoned, upholding its international human rights obligations, and respecting the Egyptian people's right to freedom of expression and rule of law.”