British lawyers back bid to return Ibrahim Halawa to Ireland

An influential committee of British lawyers have called for the release of Irish citizen Ibrahim Halawa from jail in Egypt on the third anniversary of his arrest.

The Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales has called for him to be returned to Ireland immediately.

Kirsty Brimelow QC, chair of the Bar Human Rights Committee, said his treatment  “constitutes a serious breach of international law”.

She added: “He has been subjected to several years of pre-trial detention, violently assaulted by the Egyptian police and denied access to a lawyer or a fair trial. During part of this period, Mr Halawa was a child. urgent release is required.”

Mr Halawa, 20, is being prosecuted alongside 494 co-defendants in mass trial for allegedly participating in a political protest in 2013.

He was 17 at the time of his arrest and has been charged with serious offences, all of which he strongly denies. His lawyers believe that, if convicted, he may face the death penalty.

Earlier this month, Mr Halawa’s lawyers in Belfast said an application for his release from jail in Cairo under the Egyptian Presidential Decree Law 140 would be lodged with the support of the Irish government.

Law 140 allows for those under trial in Egypt to be deported to their home country.