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Egypt must release Irish Prisoner of Conscience Ibrahim Halawa

13th December 2014, 14:38:06 UTC

Amnesty International Ireland joined with members of the Halawa family and local representatives today outside the Egyptian Embassy in Dublin to protest at the continued detention of Ibrahim Halawa.

He and his sisters were arrested for peacefully protesting in Ramsis, Cairo in August 2013 where at least 97 people died, most of them as a result of a reckless use of force by the security forces. Ibrahim was 17 years old at the time of his arrest.

Ibrahim has now been in jail in Egypt for 463 days. Two trial dates have come and gone and the next one is scheduled for early January.

Colm O’Gorman, Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland said: “Today is Ibrahim Halawa’s 19th birthday. This is his second birthday behind bars in Egypt accused of crimes he did not commit and awaiting a trial we do not believe will be fair or in accordance with due process. If convicted, he could face the death penalty.”

“The Egyptian authorities must release this Prisoner of Conscience immediately and drop all charges against him.”

Somaia Halawa, sister of Ibrahim said: “Ibrahim is turning 19 in jail. It has been a year and four months since he has been home with his family. We are extremely distressed about his ill-treatment and don’t believe he can get justice in Egypt.”

“Although we his sisters have been released on bail we continue to suffer daily knowing that our brother must endure the physical and mental torture we went through. It is only the people of Ireland that can help show the oppressor from the oppressed. We his family urge them to take Ibrahim to their hearts and continue to call for his release.”

Maya Foa, Strategic Director of the Death Penalty Team at legal charity Reprieve, which is assisting Mr Halawa, said: “It is appalling that Ibrahim Halawa, arrested at just 17, is now spending his 19th birthday in prison in horrendous conditions, subject to a ‘mass trial’ that is simply a mockery of justice. Ibrahim’s arrest, continued detention and potential trial alongside 500 others is a flagrant violation of international law – the international community must call urgently on Egypt to end his ordeal, and that of many others like him.”

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