Ibrahim Halawa's Trial Delayed for 17th Time

The trial of Ibrahim Halawa has been postponed for a 17th time today – his 21st birthday.

Halawa, from Firhouse in Dublin, has been held in an Egyptian jail since his arrest during demonstrations against the ousting of president Mohammed Morsi in August 2013.

Amnesty International confirmed this afternoon that Ibrahim - who is facing a mass trial with 493 other defendants - will be back in court on January 17.

Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan says he regrets the further adjournment but welcomes progress made "in respect of the completion of a technical review of evidence'".

Minister Flanagan said in a statement: “The Irish Government remains determined to see Ibrahim Halawa return to his family in Ireland and we will not relent in our efforts with the Egyptian authorities to secure Ibrahim’s release.

“Our focus continues to be on applying maximum pressure on the Egyptian authorities in support of the pending application for Ibrahim’s deportation to Ireland under Egyptian Law Decree 140. The Government has also requested that Ibrahim be considered for release under a new Egyptian Government amnesty scheme for young prisoners."

Here is Minister Flanaghan's statement in full:

Charlie Flanaghan

In response to the developments, Colm O’Gorman, Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland, told Newstalk: “It is beyond farcical that Ibrahim Halawa has now endured seventeen delays in his trial, spending 1,214 days imprisoned in Cairo. He was arrested while attending a peaceful protest in the summer of 2013. Today, he 'celebrates' his 21st birthday behind bars.

"Ibrahim should be at home with his family and friends. Instead, he is living in harrowing conditions in an Egyptian prison cell. His ongoing detention represents an inexcusable violation of both international and Egyptian law."

EuroParlRadio also reports the words of Sinn Fein MEP Lynn Boylan, who emphasised that Ibrahim was spending his 21st birthday in appalling conditions. However, Lynn Boylan welcomed EU movement on the case, explaining that “the President of the European Parliament made a clear statement this week in the plenary and called on the Egyptian government to respect its human rights obligations on Ibrahim‘s case and has now sent a letter to the Egyptian president to express his concern".

Yesterday, the Halawa family released photos of a craft tricolour bouquet Ibrahim made in his cell.

In an accompanying letter, Ibrahim wrote: "On my 21st Birthday, I have made something by my own hands. For so long I have been receiving presents and cards from my amazing family, my great friends and the beautiful kind Irish people. But on this birthday I have a present I have made in my cell with memories, a present I have expressed my feelings in. A hand-made flower bouquet with the colours of the Irish flag.

"On my birthday, I want to gift everyone who has always been there for me. I want to gift this to Ireland for raising me to be the man I am today."

You can Hot Press' full interview with the Halawa family here: www.hotpress.com/features/reports/Ibrahim-Halawa--The-campaign-for-justice-continues/19102731.html

 

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