USI Deputy President speaks out on Ibrahim Halawa following sit-in protest

Irish citizen Halawa's trial has been delayed 28 times.

The long campaign to bring Irish student Ibrahim Halawa home from prison in Egypt has continued today with a demonstration outside the Egyptian Embassy in Dublin today.

Deputy President of the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) Síona Cahill told Hot Press that "today's demonstration outside the embassy had serious energy, as there's a sense that we finally be coming to end of what has been an outrageously long campaign (over 4 years) to bring a young Irish man home."

Cahill said that Halawa's family, including his sisters who have been prominent in the campaign, took part in the event "that is now so regular it feels like deja vu". Hot Press spoke to Ibrahim's sister, Somaia, back in November. Read the interview here.

Irish actor Pauline McLynn also took part in the protest, and was featured in a video posted to Facebook calling for support for Halawa's release.

Halawa's lawyers have been delivering their arguments in a trial that has been delayed 28 times since his arrest in 2013.

This has given a degree of hope to those involved.

Cahill commented that "despite the fact that liberty may be on the horizon, there are no guarantees, and we need to keep the pressure on to ensure Ibrahim's release."

"Most young Irish people start and graduate from their degrees within a four year period, yet this guy was 17 when he was arrested and hasn't had any access to that despite not being found guilty of anything at all," Cahill said.

"Where's 'innocent until proven guilty' when you've been innocent for four years of your life behind bars?"

The Egyptian Embassy in Dublin was contacted for a response but was unavailable for comment.


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