herald

Monday 5 December 2016

The family of Ibrahim Halawa, who has been imprisoned in Egypt for two years, has raised his case in Brussels

Lawyer Gavin Booth (left), Sinn Fein MEP Lynn Boylan (second left), Ibrahim Halawa's sister Khadija and lawyer Darragh Mackin (right) (KRW Law Belfast/PA)
Lawyer Gavin Booth (left), Sinn Fein MEP Lynn Boylan (second left), Ibrahim Halawa's sister Khadija and lawyer Darragh Mackin (right) (KRW Law Belfast/PA)

Sinn Fein MEP Lynn Boylan called for action from the Irish Government and European institutions in the case of the Dublin teenager, after hosting a public hearing at the European Parliament.

Mr Halawa (19) was detained while taking refuge in a mosque near Cairo’s Ramses Square, in August 2013.

However, despite a series of court appearances, his trial has yet to get underway.

Ms Boylan said the purpose of yesterday’s hearing was to bring voices of experience around the table.

“We heard from Somaia Halawa, who is Ibrahim’s older sister, and she spoke of the pain of seeing her brother imprisoned unjustly, the frustration of being refused a fair trial and the fears for his future,” Ms Boylan said.

“Peter Greste, an Australian journalist who shared a cell with Ibrahim, contributed to the hearing via Skype.”

Ms Boylan said that his lawyer also travelled to the hearing.

“This is not a political football, this is literally a matter of Ibrahim’s life,” she said.

She recently visited Mr Halawa in prison.

“There’s a window of opportunity now and we need to act. I took heart in the turnout of government MEPs here. We’re all together, to bring Ibrahim home,” she said.

Mr Halawa (above) is part of a mass trial involving 494 individuals, where charges against the whole group are applied to everybody who was arrested at that time.

The charges include terrorism and murder.

The Dublin teenager’s next court appearance has been scheduled for December 15.

Fears for his mental and physical health are a huge concern to his loved ones.

He is given food with “insects and excrement” and is regularly taunted by his jailers because he may face the death penalty, according to his lawyers and family.

One of the possible legal routes open to Halawa and his lawyers is the application of Law 140.

This allows a foreigner to be deported and either be tried and face proceedings at home, or in the case of a convicted person, serve out their sentence after deportation.

Promoted articles

Entertainment News