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3rd October 2016, 10:05:07 UTC

Amnesty International reiterates call for his immediate & unconditional release.


Today, there has been yet another adjournment in the trial of Irish man Ibrahim Halawa as Egypt continues to ignore its obligations under both Egyptian and international human rights law. Amnesty International has declared Ibrahim a Prisoner of Conscience. He was arrested and has been arbitrarily detained solely for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly. Ibrahim has now spent 38 months in unlawful detention.


“Today’s delay further prolongs this horrific ordeal for Ibrahim and his family. He has been imprisoned for 1142 days without trial. Ibrahim’s only ‘crime’ was attending a peaceful protest and his continuing detention represents an inexcusable violation of both international and Egyptian law. There is no credible evidence against Ibrahim, who faces and a mass trial alongside 493other defendants. A mass trial simply cannot meet the standards required for a fair trial as defined under international human rights law,” said Colm O’Gorman, Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland.


The trial process had been expected to conclude in June when the court announced that video evidence was to be referred to a Technical Committee. In recent months, Ibrahim has written letters describing his horrific living conditions: “It’s normal to be cursed, stripped naked, beaten with a bar, or put in solitary confinement or the “tank” (a pitch-black 3.5m x 5.5m cell),” he wrote.


“This young Irish citizen has spent more than three years living in horrific conditions, without access to proper medical care, and without any prospect of a fair trial. His horrific testimony catalogues a series of human rights abuses. While Amnesty International has not as yet been able to review this information, we take such allegations very seriously. 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.”


“Tonight as Ibrahim spends his 1142th night in prison, Amnesty International remains gravely concerned for his physical and mental wellbeing. We reiterate our call for his immediate and unconditional release and urge the Irish Government to continue their work on his behalf and to use every means at their disposal to secure his release,” said Colm O’Gorman.


Ibrahim Halawa, who faces a possible death penalty, was a minor 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 1142 days without trial. 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.


The trial has been postponed to November 12th. This is the fifteenth adjournment or delay of the trial.


Amnesty International will hold a protest against the ongoing unlawful imprisonment of Ibrahim Halawa from 5:30pm tomorrow, Monday 3rd October, at the Egyptian Embassy, 12 Clyde Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4.


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