Today, there has been yet another adjournment in the trial of Irish citizen Ibrahim Halawa as Egypt continues to ignore its obligations under both Egyptian and international human rights law. Ibrahim has now spent 1,348 days in prison, since his arrest in 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.
“It is beyond farcical that almost four years after his arrest, Ibrahim Halawa’s trial has been delayed for the 23rd time. The continuing imprisonment of this young Irish and EU citizen is a serious violation of both international and Egyptian law. Over the last 45 months, Ibrahim’s ordeal has been nothing short of horrific. He has spent almost four years of his young life in harrowing conditions in a number of different prison cells,” said Fiona Crowley, Research and Legal Manager with Amnesty International Ireland.
Ibrahim’s innocence has been further vindicated in recent months, when a court-ordered review of audio-visual material from the night of his arrest found no evidence against him. The Committee’s report, which was ordered after almost three years of detention, does not even mention Ibrahim.
Amnesty International has also 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.
“As he spends his 1,348th night in an Egyptian prison cell, Amnesty International continues to be gravely concerned for his mental and physical wellbeing. This young Irish man should be allowed to return home to his family and loved ones in Dublin. 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 Fiona Crowley.
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 17 May 2017.
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