Court ordered audio-visual evidence report finds no evidence against Ibrahim.
Today, there has been yet another adjournment in the trial of Ibrahim Halawa in Cairo as Egypt continues to ignore its obligations under both Egyptian laws and international human rights law. Ibrahim, who faces a possible death penalty, was a child when he was first arrested in August 2013 and has now spent 1,277 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 the last trial date. The report, seen by Amnesty International, suggests that out of the at least 330 defendants currently detained in the case, there is only information relating to two defendants. It does not even mention Ibrahim Halawa.
“Ibrahim’s innocence has been further vindicated by Egypt’s own legal system, which following a technical review of video material from the night of his arrest, found no evidence against him. It tallies with what Amnesty researchers on the ground at the time assert, that Ibrahim was in al-Fath mosque and could not have committed the violent crimes with which he has been charged. Amnesty International has also 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. This report validates that conclusion.
“It is long past time that this young Irish citizen should be released and allowed to return home to Dublin. He has now spent almost three and a half years living in truly horrific conditions in different Egyptian prisons and has endured 19 trial delays. Ibrahim is a Prisoner of Conscience detained solely for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression and assembly. His continuing imprisonment represents an inexcusable violation of both international and Egyptian law.
“As Ibrahim spends his 1,277th 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 22 March 2017. Amnesty International understands that the case was adjourned today following petitions from a number of defendants. The judges reportedly conceded that witnesses could not be called while defendants, who are also involved in other cases, were not present. This latest delay proves once again why a mass trial such as this does not and cannot meet the standards required of a fair trial process.