Free American Imprisoned for Helping Homeless Children
This petition made change with 49,911 supporters!
Aya is an American citizen who is being held without trial by the Egyptian government. Her only crime: helping children on the streets to get a roof over their head, a meal, and a good education.
Aya Hijazi wanted badly to help the homeless and neglected children of Egypt. After completing her degree at George Mason University in 2009, Aya went to Egypt where she has dual citizenship. She and her husband founded an organization to provide a safe space and education for the street children in Cairo. These children would otherwise have no place to turn and were often exploited. The children and the organization thrived.
Things quickly turned bad when the military-controlled government started making sweeping arrests of academics, political opponents, and civil servants -- people like Aya and her husband. They soon found themselves arrested and being interrogated, accused of physically and sexually abusing the children. These were the worst possible accusations for someone like Aya, who had dedicated so much to helping the children of Egypt. And they were completely false.
The US State Department needs to do everything in its power to arrange for Aya and her husband to be released and allowed to return to the United States.
It came to light that the children were beaten and forced to make false accusations on camera. A report showed no abuse to have transpired at the organization, and the families of the children have come forth defending Aya and her husband. Despite the evidence of their innocence, they are being held with no end in sight.
Please help free an American citizen abroad. Aya and her husband’s only crime was treating children that society was ignoring and exploiting with respect and dignity. They gave these children hope, something the Egyptian government fears and will try to stop by throwing people like Aya in prison. Tell the State Department not to allow Egypt to trample on the rights of an American citizen. Free Aya and her husband now, and drop all charges against the members of the Belady Foundation.
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