Minister promises action for Ibrahim Halawa as delayed verdict awaited
2017-09-01 15:05:51 -
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As the verdict is awaited in the marathon trial of Ibrahim Halawa, the Government has renewed calls for his unconditional release.

 

The Dubliner has been detained by Egyptian authorities since he was arrested amid protests over the removal of Muslim Brotherhood-backed president Mohamed Morsi in Cairo four years ago. 

 

After years of frustrating adjournments, Halawa’s mass trial alongside 493 other defendants recently progressed with the prosecution resting its case. 

 

Judgement has now been postponed till 18 September. Halawa faces a possible death penalty if convicted.

 

The 21-year-old Tallaght man’s treatment by the Egyptian authorities prompted Amnesty International to declare him a prisoner of conscience. “His trial cannot meet the standards required for a fair trial as defined under international human rights law,” the human rights body said.

 

In a statement recently to mark the fourth anniversary of the Halawa’s detention, the Minister for Foreign Affairs said Ireland was doing what it could to bring him home.

 

“I am sending a personal message to Ibrahim Halawa … expressing solidarity with him, encouraging him to stay strong and hopeful, and renewing the Government’s promise to him that we will continue to do everything possible to ensure that he is able to return home as soon as possible,” said Minister Simon Coveney.

 

More recently, however, the minister expressed his disappointment and frustration at the extended delay of the verdict.

 

“This is very frustrating for Ibrahim Halawa and for his family, who were expecting some definitive news today [Monday 28 August], and I fully share that sense of disappointment and frustration at yet another delay in this long-running case.

 

“Nonetheless, we will be continuing to work in support of Ibrahim and his family and doing everything we can to ensure that he is able to return to Ireland as soon as possible once the trial ends.”

 

During a phone call with Egyptian president Abdul Fattah al-Sisi on 28 August, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar stressed that the Irish Government’s priority was Halawa’s safe return to the State. President al-Sisi said he would settle the matter once the judicial process was over.


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