Lawyers welcome European Parliament call for Ibrahim Halawa’s release
Lawyers at KRW Law in Belfast and Doughty Street Chambers in London have welcomed the European Parliament’s call for the release of Ibrahim Halawa.
Mr Halawa is a 20-year-old Irish citizen who has been detained in Cairo since August 2013 following his alleged participation in a political protest. He has allegedly suffered torture and permanent disfigurement to his hand since being taken into custody.
His trial was postponed for the tenth time on Tuesday and has been rescheduled for Saturday 19 December.
Mr Halawa’s legal team fears he may receive a life sentence or be sentenced to death.
The European Parliament approved a resolution which calls on “the Egyptian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release him to the Irish authorities pursuant to a presidential decree issued in November 2014 under Egyptian Law 140”.
Law 140 allows the Egyptian president to transfer foreigners who are accused or convicted in Egypt to their home country to face appropriate legal processes there.
Darragh Mackin of KRW Law, solicitor to Ibrahim Halawa, said: “Ibrahim’s continued detention in Egypt is a matter of grave concern.
“We are delighted that the European Parliament has recognised this and has called upon Egypt to send Ibrahim home to Ireland. The Resolution signifies the context of Ibrahim’s detention against the wider backdrop of human rights abuses in Egypt, and the continuing failure to uphold the very basic human rights enshrined in international law.”
Caoilfhionn Gallagher of Doughty Street Chambers, counsel to Mr Halawa, added: “The international community must keep a spotlight on the Egyptian authorities, who appear determined to jail, prosecute and convict any individuals who it perceives to be critical of the regime. This includes many innocent journalists and peaceful protestors.
“Ibrahim was a child in the wrong place at the wrong time, and as a result he has been in detention without trial for over two years, held in appalling conditions. Earlier this year he went on hunger strike in a desperate attempt to campaign for his freedom from torture and inhuman and degrading treatment.
“He now faces an impending mass trial, along with 493 others, which is overwhelmingly likely to be unfair, in conditions which make a mockery of justice. Egypt continues to act with flagrant disregard for its obligations under international law.”