Ibrahim Halawa, the 21 year old Irish citizen detained in an Egyptian prison for the past four years, was today acquitted in a court in Egypt. Ibrahim was found not guilty to all of the charges brought against him. Amnesty International has declared Ibrahim a Prisoner of Conscience, based on its own eye-witness evidence that he could not have carried out the violent acts he is accused of. He was arrested and arbitrarily detained solely for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly.
“Amnesty International, together with the Halawa family and other partners, have been campaigning for years to secure Ibrahim’s release. Today, some semblance of justice has been done as Ibrahim was found not guilty of all charges. Nothing can ever excuse the horrific ordeal that Ibrahim has endured. He spent more than four years locked up in harrowing conditions in in various different Egyptian prison cells, without access to proper medical care. He was unlawfully detained with no credible evidence to support the charges laid against him. In fact, not one shred of evidence was presented to the court against Ibrahim at any stage during this four year farcical mass trial process which was adjourned more than 30 times.
“Today, at last, Ibrahim’s nightmare is over. He must now be immediately released and allowed to return home to Ireland. Our expectation is that the Irish Government will continue to work on his behalf and ensure his prompt return home to his family and life here in Ireland.
“While Ibrahim’s release puts an end to the gross injustice in his case, it is utterly disgraceful that the Egyptian authorities continue to hand out heavy sentences to other protesters after sham mass trials that flout the most basic standards of a fair trial, while security forces who used excessive and lethal force killing at least 97 protesters that day have escaped unpunished,” said Colm O’Gorman, Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland.
Ibrahim Halawa was just 17 when he was first arrested in August 2013 while taking sanctuary in the Al Fath mosque. While Ibrahim’s sisters were released on bail, Ibrahim has been incarcerated for 1,472 days. Today’s verdict comes after more than 30 adjournments over the last four years.