DUBLIN, 4 July 2017 – Today, Ibrahim Halawa has learned that there has been yet another adjournment – the twenty-fifth – in his trial in Cairo. This young Irish man has now spent 1,418 days in prison, since his arrest in August 2013 at the age of 17. Amnesty International has declared Ibrahim Halawa 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.
“For the 25th time, Ibrahim’s trial has been adjourned. He was detained solely for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly. We understand that Ibrahim’s trial may be nearing a conclusion, though he should never have been forced to endure a single minute behind bars. Yet, almost four years later, he is still being imprisoned. Ibrahim’s harrowing ordeal continued with yet another adjournment, in a process that simply cannot meet the fair trial standards required under international law,” said Colm O’Gorman, Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland.
Amnesty International has conducted a thorough, independent review of the prosecution evidence and concluded that he was arrested solely for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of assembly and expression. Amnesty researchers in Cairo on the night of his arrest confirm that he was sheltering in the Al Fath mosque and could not have committed the violent acts he has been charged with.
In recent weeks, An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said he was willing to consider a new approach to securing Ibrahim’s release.
“We welcome the Taoiseach’s commitment to Ibrahim’s case and urge the Irish government to continue to do everything it can to secure his safe return to Ireland. We are encouraged by Minister Simon Coveney’s statement affirming the department’s continuing work on Ibrahim’s behalf. Egypt’s continuing refusal to respect its obligations under both Egyptian and international human rights law cannot be tolerated. As Ibrahim spends his 1,418th night in an Egyptian prison cell, Amnesty International continues to be gravely concerned for his mental and physical wellbeing. We again reiterate our call to the Egyptian authorities for his immediate and unconditional release,” said Colm O’Gorman.
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 and are safe in Ireland, Ibrahim (who is now 21) has been incarcerated for almost four years without trial.
Ibrahim’s trial has been rescheduled for July 9 2017.
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