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

The parliament’s speaker does not want to see Halawa released.

THE SPEAKER OF the Egyptian parliament has reportedly accused Ibrahim Halawa of assaulting police, disrupting roads and endangering the safety of citizens.

BBC News reports that Ali Abdul Aal made the claims on Sunday and claimed that the Irish Government’s call for his release amounts to an interference in the Egyptian judicial system.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny last month said that he had spoken to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and requested that he be released by presidential decree.

Such a decree is issued by the Egyptian president and allows foreign prisoners continue their detention in their home country. The decree was issued in the case of Australian journalist Peter Greste who was held by Egyptian authorities before being released.

The weekend’s tough statement from the Egyptian speaker would appear to be an attempt to dissuade the Egyptian President from issuing the decree in the case of the 20-year-old Dubliner.

In his speech, the speaker also accused Halawa of being a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, a claim denied by his family.

Halawa has now been held for a total of 1,098 days without trial after being arrested during a demonstration in Cairo in support of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Muslim Brotherhood had been ousted from power by the Egyptian military after winning both parliamentary and presidential elections.

File Photo Verdict in Ibrahim Halawa trial in Egypt expected today Danah Mahmoud Mansour from UK/Palestine joins Protesters outside the Egyption Embassy in Dublin. Source: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

Speaking this evening on RTÉ’s Drivetime programme, Halawa’s solicitor Darragh Mackin says the request by the Irish Government that he be released by decree is a wholly legitimate instrument and as such is not an interference in the Egyptian judiciary.

Mackin also says that there has been no evidence presented for the charges of which he is accused of.

“What is to come is to be the most pivotal period for Ibrahim’s release,” Mackin says.

What Ibrahim is about to embark on is an official request for his release and deportation, and it’s at that time that we would be seeking the Irish Government to put forward all efforts to secure his immediate release.

Mackin acknowledges that the application made to the Egyptian authorities is “controversial”.

It comes as a controversial application and I don’t shy away from that. Time is everything and we now enter the most pivotal time, and it’s regrettable that we do enter that time on the back of such a disheartening statement from the Egyptian House of Representatives.

Mackin says that the decision to release Halawa by presidential decree is one for the president to make and as such the Irish Government should seek to exert diplomatic pressure.

Read: Taoiseach calls Egyptian president to seek release of Ibrahim Halawa >

Read: Ibrahim Halawa’s local Dublin council has passed a motion seeking to bring him home >

About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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