herald

Wednesday 28 September 2016

Fears grow for Ibrahim as trial delayed further

Ibrahim
Ibrahim

DUBLINER Ibrahim Halawa's trial date has been adjourned once more and he will next appear in front of a judge on June 6.

The teenager has been imprisoned in Cairo since he was arrested during protests there in August 2013.

His trial has been delayed or postponed on a number of occasions due to overcrowding in the courtroom.

Ibrahim (19) is being tried in a mass trial alongside 493 other defendants. Amnesty International has declared the Tallaght teen, who was just 17 when he was arrested, a prisoner of conscience.

Disappointed

Yesterday, three witnesses were called to the stand during proceedings.

"We are so disappointed," his sister Somaia Halawa told the Herald.

"Enda Kenny really needs to intervene and I would urge him to get in touch with the authorities in Egypt to demand Ibrahim's release. This is a job for the Taoiseach."

Earlier this year Ibrahim was moved to a new prison, Wadi-El Natrun, which has a court facility on-site. His family fear that he will face the death penalty if found guilty.

Her brother and his co-accused were unable to hear the judge yesterday in the crowded courtroom because they were kept behind sound-proof glass, Somaia said.

During his 20-month stay in prison, Ibrahim has penned letters alleging harrowing treatment at the hands of prison guards.

His family are deeply concerned for his safety and his mother has been in Egypt almost continually since he was first detained.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan expressed his disappointment with the refusal of Ibrahim's bail application along with all others involved in the case.

"Our objectives in this case remain clear - to see this young Irish citizen released by the Egyptian authorities, and to provide consular support while he remains in detention," he said.

"With the Taoiseach's full support, I remain committed to taking all appropriate action in pursuit of our two objectives."

A spokesperson for the Taoiseach said that he is being constantly updated about the Halawa case.

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