An American schoolteacher imprisoned in Egypt for nearly a year without trial has been freed by Egyptian authorities and returned home to the United States, the State Department said Monday.
Reem Desouky, 47, a dual Egyptian-American citizen and single mother from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, was arrested on arrival at the Cairo Airport with her teenage son in July 2019 and hauled off to Qanatir Prison outside the capital. She faced charges of running a Facebook page critical of the Egyptian government. Security officials had confiscated her phone and interrogated her about her political opinions and social medias posts, according to her lawyers. Human rights groups denounced her detention as arbitrary and politically-motivated.
"The Department of State has no higher priority than the safety and welfare of U.S. citizens overseas,'' said spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus, welcoming the news of Desouky's release.