brahim Halawa's sisters (LtoR) Somaia, Nosayba, Fatima and Omaima. Sam Boal/
jailed without trial

Ibrahima Halawa will spend his 21st birthday in jail after trial postponed again

The Dublin student has now been held without trial for 1,182 days.

IBRAHIM HALAWA’S TRIAL has been adjourned for the 16th time and put back until 13 December, the date of this 21st birthday.

The Dublin student was arrested in Egypt in August 2013 and has now been held without trial for 1,182 days.

The latest adjournment has been criticised by the Irish government with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) saying that Minister Charlie Flanagan is ‘concerned and frustrated’ by today’s developments.

Halawa was 17 when he was arrested and detained at a protest in Cairo. The demonstration was in support of the Muslim Brotherhood which had been ousted from power by the Egyptian military.

The Egyptian authorities have chosen to try Halawa in a mass trial along with almost 500 other people, a decision that has either deliberately or indirectly led to the repeated postponements.

The DFA says that it is its understanding that this latest adjournment comes after a number of the defendants were not present in court.

“Our priority remains to see this young man returned to Ireland and to his family as soon as possible,” Flangan said in a statement this afternoon.

The government will continue to use every possible opportunity to underline our concerns about this case to the Egyptian authorities, both bilaterally and with the EU and other partners.

The Irish government has formally requested that Halawa be released by presidential decree and DFA says Taoiseach Enda Kenny has spoken directly with Egypt’s President el Sisi about this request.

The minister has also welcomed an order by the court that Halawa be medically examined. Commenting on the issue of Halawa’s health, Amnesty International Ireland has said that the prison conditions he is being held in are “truly horrific”.

“Both Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have detailed the horrific use of torture by the Egyptian security forces and in Egyptian prisons. Letters from Ibrahim catalogues a series of grave human rights abuses which we must take seriously,” said Amnesty’s Fiona Crowley.

Sinn Féin and the Green Party have both today called for the Irish government to increase their efforts to secure Halawa’s release.

Read: “I don’t see the sky” – Ibrahim Halawa pens letter from Egyptian prison >

Read: Ibrahim Halawa case: Egypt hits back at Ireland and accuses him of assaulting police >

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