Free Ibrahim now - before it’s too late
By Chinedu Onyejelem
Ibrahim Halawa’s famliy said they were “deeply concerned” for his well-being after the Taoiseach admitted he had not spoken with the Egyptian president about his case.
In recent correspondence exchanged with the Halawa family, Taosieach Enda Kenny confirmed that no phone call had been made to President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to discuss the release of Halawa, whose trial over his alleged role in anti-government protests in 2013 was recently postponed for the 16th time.
President el-Sisi recently announced a pardon of 80 young people both convicted and awaiting trial, while Halawa remains in a Cairo prison.
“Now the Irish Government must increase pressure to ensure that Ibrahim is considered for the presidential pardon for youth prisoners,” said the family, who fear he would age out of the scheme when he turns 21 this month.
The Office of the Taoiseach has since confirmed to Metro Éireann that he wrote to President el-Sisi “in recent days to convey his strong concerns about this case and to reiterate in the strongest terms the Government’s call for the return of Ibrahim Halawa to Ireland without delay.
“This is an extremely complex consular case and one that is receiving very significant attention and resources from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and from the Taoiseach, Minister Flanagan and other members of the Government.”
The Taoiseach’s office did not comment on claims that he previously declared on social media about having made contact with President el-Sisi when he had not actually done so.