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Dublin: 21 °C Friday 25 May, 2018
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Ibrahim Halawa's trial delayed for 22nd time

Concerns have been raised about his health.

Ibrahim Halawa
Ibrahim Halawa
Image: Amnesty International

IBRAHIM HALAWA’S TRIAL has been delayed for the 22nd time in Egypt.

Amnesty International has criticised the latest delay, noting that Halawa (21) has spent 1,348 days in prison and there is “grave concern” for his physical and mental wellbeing.

An application for his release on medical grounds was lodged at the last hearing in the case. Amnesty said it is unclear if the court has considered the request for his release on humanitarian grounds.

Colm O’Gorman, executive director of Amnesty International Ireland, said: “For the 22nd time in 44 months, Ibrahim Halawa’s trial has been postponed.

“Amnesty has conducted a thorough, independent review of the prosecution evidence and concluded that he was arrested solely for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of assembly and expression.

“Amnesty researchers in Cairo on the night of his arrest confirm that he was sheltering in the Al Fath mosque and could not have committed the violent acts he’s been charged with.”

Halawa, who is an Irish citizen, was 17 years old when he was first detained during Muslim Brotherhood protests in Cairo in August 2013.

He faces a mass trial alongside 493 other defendants, which Amnesty said cannot meet the standards required for a fair trial as defined under international human rights law.

‘Utmost concern’

Officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs were present at today’s hearing, where seven more witnesses were called and cross-examined. The court will sit again on 9 May.

Minister Charlie Flanagan said: “My expectation now is that the trial will move towards a conclusion. It is important that there should be no further delays in the process.

The government, my own Department of Foreign Affairs and our embassy in Cairo will continue to monitor all developments in relation to Ibrahim Halawa’s case and his health and welfare, which remain matters of the utmost concern.

“We will continue to provide every possible consular assistance to Ibrahim Halawa and his family. A further consular visit will be undertaken by the embassy to Ibrahim Halawa in the coming days.”

Read: Ibrahim Halawa’s family say he is now ‘dying’ in prison

Read: Egyptian President refuses to release Ibrahim Halawa but says he can return to Ireland after his trial

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Órla Ryan

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