Amnesty International meets Egyptian Ambassador to reiterate call for his immediate & unconditional release
As Ibrahim spends his 1000th night in prison, Amnesty International has this week met with the Egyptian Ambassador to Ireland, Soha Gendi. Ibrahim, who faces a possible death penalty, was a minor when he was first arrested in August 2013. Amnesty International has conducted a thorough review of the prosecution evidence and concluded that Ibrahim could not have committed the violent crimes with which he has been charged. His trial has been delayed 13 times, as Egypt continues to ignore its obligations under both Egyptian and international human rights law. His trial has been rescheduled for 26 June 2016.
“This young Irish citizen has now spent 1000 days living in truly horrific conditions in an Egyptian prison cell. Ibrahim is a Prisoner of Conscience detained solely for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly. His continuing imprisonment is an inexcusable violation of both international and Egyptian law,” said Colm O’Gorman, Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland.
Ibrahim is a Prisoner of Conscience detained solely for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression and freedom of assemblyColm O'Gorman, Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland
Amnesty International this week met with Ambassador Gendi to discuss Ibrahim’s case. In recent months, the Ambassador has described Ibrahim’s case as “a clear case of terrorism,”dismissing reports of the use of torture and mistreatment.
“The Ambassador’s comments in relation to Ibrahim’s case have been nothing short of outrageous. In recent years numerous human rights organisations including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have presented evidence of the use of torture by the Egyptian security forces and in Egyptian prisons. The Ambassador’s assertion that torture is not an issue in Egypt is simply not credible. Egyptian law’s definition of what constitutes a “terrorist act” is overly broad and grants the authorities free rein to detain peaceful government critics, including journalists, on vague grounds. In spite her assertions that the separation of powers precludes her from commenting on the case, the Ambassador continues to prejudge Ibrahim’s guilt.
“Furthermore, it is farcical to suggest, as the Ambassador has, that Ibrahim is not being subjected to a mass trial. The simple fact is he is on alongside 493 others, making it impossible for his lawyers to mount an individual defence. Similar mass trials have seen hundreds of defendants convicted without ever having had an opportunity to present a defence, following hearings which lasted mere minutes, at the end of which hundreds were sentenced to death. A mass trial simply cannot meet international standards for a fair trial. This particular trial has also been postponed 13 times in the last 33 months, while Ibrahim continues to be detained,” said Colm O’Gorman.
Ibrahim Halawa was just 17 years old at the time of arrest, and has now spent almost three years in prison. Amnesty International remains gravely concerned for Ibrahim’s mental and physical wellbeing and again calls for his immediate and unconditional release.