Amnesty calls for immediate, unconditional release of Prisoner of Conscience, Ibrahim Halawa after tenth trial delay and 853 days in prison
The European Parliament has today debated a Joint Resolution expressing “deep concern about the unacceptable breach of basic human rights arising from the arbitrary detention of Irish citizen Ibrahim Halawa”. Ibrahim has spent almost two and a half years in prison, following ten postponements of the mass trial he is being subjected to. The resolution has near unanimous support with more than 98 per cent of votes cast supporting the proposal. In the run up to the vote the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs lobbied MEPs in an effort to derail this initiative, circulating a grossly misleading ‘Fact Sheet’ which was strongly rebutted by Amnesty International and partner organisations such as Reprieve.
Amnesty International researchers have conducted a thorough examination of the case and established that he is entirely innocent of the serious and violent crimes with which he has been charged. He is being detained solely for peacefully expressing his right to freedom of expression and assembly and is a Prisoner of Conscience. The resolution, which was supported by all Irish MEPs, further “expressed its deepest concern at the deteriorating condition of Ibrahim due to his hunger strike”.
“Today’s European Parliament resolution is further evidence, if any was needed, of the Egyptian government’s determination to flout its obligations under international law. The continuing imprisonment of this young Irish and EU citizen is a violation of both international and Egyptian law. Ibrahim is one of 494 defendants facing a grossly unfair mass trial which makes it almost impossible for his lawyers to mount an individual defence. On Tuesday, Ibrahim’s trial was delayed for the tenth time reportedly due to the absence of one of the defendants.
Today’s European Parliament resolution is further evidence, if any was needed, of the Egyptian government’s determination to flout its obligations under international law.Colm O'Gorman, Executive Director, Amnesty International Ireland
“Amnesty International echoes the EU Parliament’s call that the Egyptian authorities abide by international law and international standards on the right to a fair trial and due process. As Ibrahim spends his 854th night in prison, Amnesty International remains gravely concerned for his mental and physical wellbeing, and again calls for his immediate and unconditional release,” said Colm O’Gorman, Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland.
Ibrahim Halawa, who faces a possible death penalty, 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 and are safe in Ireland, Ibrahim has been incarcerated for more than 28 months without trial. The next hearing in this mass trial has been rescheduled for Saturday, 19 December.