NI: UN urged Egypt to halt rights violations in Ibrahim Halawa case
The United Nations urged the Egyptian government to take “all necessary interim measures” to halt alleged violations of the human rights of Irish citizen Ibrahim Halawa.
Mr Halawa, 20, is being prosecuted alongside 493 co-defendants in mass trial for allegedly participating in a political protest in 2013.
He is the only Irish citizen among the group. Belfast firm KRW Law, representing Mr Halawa, says he and hundreds of others were seeking refuge in a Cairo mosque from violent clashes between security forces and protesters.
Mr Halawa, who was 17 at the time of his arrest, has been charged with serious offences, all of which he strongly denies. His lawyers believe that, if convicted, he may face the death penalty.
The UN intervention took place last year, but details have only just emerged in a report published ahead of the 31st Session of the UN Human Rights Council.
The UN communication to Egypt states: “While awaiting a reply, we urge that all necessary interim measures, including Mr Halawa’s Bail or unconditional release, be taken to halt the alleged violations, prevent their re-occurrence, and in the event that the investigations support or suggest the allegations to be correct, to ensure accountability of any person responsible for such violations.”
Solicitor Darragh Mackin of KRW Law said: “We warmly welcome the communication by the UN to the Egyptian Government on behalf of Ibrahim Halawa.
“The communication in many ways exonerates the family’s position, and the UN should be commended in tackling the alleged breaches of human rights and international law in Ibrahim’s case.
“We now urgently call upon the Egyptian Government to take the interim measures as stipulated by the UN, and release Ibrahim immediately.”
Solicitor Gavin Booth of KRW Law added: “We welcome the representations by the United Nations in this case. It is clear Ibrahim is being failed, as he is subject to an unfair system of law and immediate steps need to be taken to secure his release.”
Mr Halawa will next appear in court on 29 June 2016.