Egypt’s international partners must act to protect human rights – Amnesty International
Ibrahim Halawa and the 493 defendants today heard that their trial has been delayed for the eight time with the next court date on 4 October 2015. Yet again, families of the defendants were denied access to the courtroom and lawyers not permitted to present a defence.
Colm O’Gorman, Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland said: “Today’s further adjournment, for the 8 th time of Ibrahim Halawa and his co-defendants’ trial, is an indictment of the Egyptian justice system. It comes on the same day the verdict in the trial of Al Jazeera journalists Mohamed Fahmy, Peter Greste and Baher Mohamed was delayed until 29 August 2015. Yet this peaceful protester and these journalists should not be on trial in the first place.
“It is becoming increasingly clear that there is no due process in Egypt as it continues to flout international human rights law with mass life and death sentences after trials including hundreds of defendants, with continual delays to even those deeply flawed trials and with the detention of thousands of those who dare to peacefully dissent.
“In this system, there is no justice – there are no human rights. The international community cannot allow the rule of law to be so abused as Egypt has now become an all-out repressive state engaged in a systemic crackdown of any opposition. This cannot be allowed to continue.
“Ibrahim and his family’s appalling ordeal must end and he should be immediately and unconditionally released and allowed to return home to Ireland. Amnesty International has declared Ibrahim Halawa a Prisoner of Conscience based on eye-witness evidence that he could not have carried out the acts he is accused of. He is being detained solely for peacefully expressing his right to freedom of expression and assembly. Ibrahim completes 2 years in pre-trial detention on 17 August 2015 which is the ceiling for pre-trial detention under Egyptian law. The court adjournment of today’s trial until 4 October while continuing to hold the defendants in pre-detention beyond two years is a blow to the rule of law in the country and shows that Egypt’s criminal justice system is spiralling out of control.
“Ireland and our European Union partners must do all within their power to fight for human rights and the rule of law.”