Ibrahim Halawa, the Irish 19 year old, who is in prison in Egypt for 18 months without trial on trumped up charges, has seen his trial postponed again to 29 March, according to his family.
This is the fourth postponement of the trial of Ibrahim Halawa and 493 others since he was arrested on 17 August 2013 while hiding from gunfire in Al Fath mosque in Cairo.
“This latest episode is devastating for Ibrahim’s family. He has now spent 541 days in pre-trial detention simply for protesting peacefully. By any international standard of justice, this is absolutely unacceptable,” said Colm O’Gorman, Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland.
Amnesty International has called yet again on the Egyptian authorities to release Ibrahim immediately and unconditionally with all charges against him dropped as he is a prisoner of conscience detained solely for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression and assembly.
In the casefile, the prosecutor has failed to provide evidence that Ibrahim had used violence. The prosecutor has also depended entirely on police witnesses and reports, and investigations by intelligence services, which put a question mark over the credibility of evidence used against the defendants.
“The Irish Government can no longer continue to highlight the critical importance of ‘due process’ in this case. It is quite clear that there is no prospect of Ibrahim getting a fair trial in Egypt,” said Colm O’Gorman.
“Enough is enough. We must now give up on any belief that Ibrahim can get justice in an Egyptian court. It is simply not going to happen. A week ago Australian journalist Peter Greste, Ibrahim’s cellmate in Tora prison in Egypt, was released under a Presidential decree. Hopes are high that his Al Jazeera colleague will soon be following him home.”
“Despite this latest setback, Amnesty International will continue to do all that we can to highlight Ibrahim’s case and our members will continue to campaign for his release. We will not stop until he is brought home.”
The trial is in relation to protests that took place on 16 and 17 August 2013, in Ramsis, Cairowhere at least 97 people died, most of them as a result of reckless use of force by the security forces.
Among those on trial are 12 children including Ibrahim Halawa, an Irish national born to Egyptian parents, who was only 17 years old at the time of his arrest. He has since turned 19. Amnesty International has conducted a thorough examination of his case.
He and his three sisters were among those arrested after taking refuge in a mosque. He was shot in his hand when the security forces stormed the building, but was not given access to medical care for his injury, and the only treatment he received was from a cellmate who happened to be a doctor. He was held in detention with adults contrary to Egypt’s Child Law which provides that children must be held in juvenile detention centres and be separated from adults. His sisters were released but Ibrahim remained in prison.