For the twenty-sixth time in almost four years, the trial of young Irish citizen Ibrahim Halawa has been adjourned in Cairo. 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. He has now spent 1,423 days in prison, since his arrest in August 2013 at the age of 17.
“Today’s trial adjournment – the twenty-sixth – means that Ibrahim will tonight spend his 1,423th night in prison in Egypt. This young Irish man should be at home in Dublin, with his family and friends. Instead, he’s spent almost four years languishing in an Egyptian prison awaiting trial for crimes he did not commit. 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,” said Colm O’Gorman, Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland.
Amnesty International understands that the last of the prosecution witnesses were called today. The case was adjourned when defence 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.
Earlier this year, the judge referred audio-video evidence to a Technical Committee for further examination. Their report, seen by Amnesty International, suggests that out of the defendants currently detained in the case, there is only information relating to two defendants. It does not even mention Ibrahim Halawa. The next hearing, scheduled for July 16, will be spend examining this video evidence.
“The continuing imprisonment of this young Irish and EU citizen is a serious violation of both international and Egyptian law. Over the last 46 months, Ibrahim has endured a horrifying ordeal. Amnesty International continues to be gravely concerned for his mental and physical wellbeing. We reiterate our call to the Egyptian authorities for his immediate and unconditional release. We urge the Irish Government to continue working on his behalf and to use every means at their disposal to secure his safe return to Ireland,” 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 16, 2017.
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