The trial of Ibrahim Halawa alongside 493 other defendants in Egypt for their alleged role in violence in Cairo on 16-17 August has been further adjourned today until 2 August.
Though witnesses for the prosecution were in court waiting to testify, none of this was heard as the judge adjourned the trial yet again. This is the seventh time that the trial has been postponed or adjourned.
Ibrahim and his sisters, Omaima, Fatima and Somaia Halawa were arrested while taking sanctuary in the Al Fath mosque. While Ibrahim’s sisters are released on bail and are safe and well in Ireland, today’s further delay will mean that Ibrahim will have been incarcerated for almost 2 years without sentencing by the time of the next hearing. Under Egyptian law, pre-trial detention must not exceed two years or the person should be released.
Ibrahim Halawa is a Prisoner of Conscience detained solely for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression and assembly. He must be released immediately and unconditionally with all charges against him dropped.
Colm O’Gorman, Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland said:
“My heart goes out to Ibrahim and his family who must continue their near 2-year long ordeal at the hands of the criminal justice system in Egypt. This situation is utterly unacceptable. No one should be forced to endure a mass trial involving hundreds of other defendants with only state witnesses for the prosecution. No one should be arrested while taking refuge in a place of prayer trying to escape gunfire. No one should have to withstand the continual raising of hope that they might have their day in court, only to have that hope continually dashed – again and again.
“The situation is intolerable for Ibrahim and his family. This young man should be at home in Ireland, continuing his studies and getting on with his life. I urge the Irish Government and their EU partners to continue to work on Ibrahim’s case as an absolute priority. It is time Egypt released Ibrahim, immediately and unconditionally, and allowed him home to Ireland”.