Today, there has been yet another adjournment in Ibrahim Halawa’s trial in Cairo as Egypt continues to ignore its obligations under both Egyptian and international human rights law. Ibrahim, who faces a possible death penalty, was a minor when he was first arrested in August 2013 and has now spent 1,430 days in prison.
In June 2016, the judge referred audio-video evidence to a Technical Committee for further examination. This report, which was ordered after almost three years of unlawful detention, was presented at a previous trial date. It does not even mention Ibrahim Halawa. At the last trial date, lawyers representing some of the defendants in this mass trial asked for more time and an opportunity to challenge video evidence presented by the prosecution.
At today’s hearing video evidence was presented as expected. A number of defence witnesses were called and gave evidence. The trial was then adjourned to 25 July. On this date it is expected that the Prosecutor will sum up the prosecution case and present his final arguments. At this stage lawyers for the defendants will begin to present their cases. Defendants will then begin to present their cases. It is not clear how long this will take given that there were 494 defendants in this mass trial when it first commenced in 2013.
“Ibrahim’s innocence has been further vindicated by Egypt’s own legal system. A technical review of video material from the night of his arrest does not even mention Ibrahim. This tallies with what Amnesty researchers in Cairo on the night of his arrest observed. They assert that Ibrahim was in al-Fath mosque and could not have committed the violent crimes with which he has been charged. Despite these facts, this young Irish citizen is still detained in an Egyptian prison. Ibrahim has spent almost four years living in horrific conditions in different Egyptian prisons and has endured 27 trial delays. It is long past time that he be released and allowed to return home to his loved ones in Dublin,” 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 Ibrahim was arrested solely for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of assembly and expression. He is a Prisoner of Conscience. His continuing imprisonment represents an inexcusable violation of both international and Egyptian law.
“As Ibrahim spends another night unjustly incarcerated, Amnesty International continues to be gravely concerned for his mental and physical wellbeing. We reiterate our call on the Egyptian authorities to drop all charges against Ibrahim and to order his immediate and unconditional release. We also urge the Irish Government to continue working on his behalf and to use every means at their disposal to secure his release,” said Colm O’Gorman, Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland.
Ibrahim Halawa was just 17 years old when he was first detained in August 2013. He faces a mass trial alongside 493 other defendants, which cannot meet the standards required for a fair trial as defined under international human rights law.
His trial has been rescheduled for 25 July.
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