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Wednesday 6 December 2023 Dublin: 8°C
no reprieve

Ibrahim Halawa is not one of 82 young people freed from Egyptian jail today

He has now been awaiting trial for 1,187 days.

Updated: 17:40

IBRAHIM HALAWA IS not among 82 people who were pardoned and released by Egyptian authorities today, according to the Irish embassy in Cairo.

Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi pardoned 82 “youths” including a prominent advocate of Islamic reform, following calls to free prisoners, his spokesman said.

Sisi, a former army chief who won elections after toppling his Islamist predecessor Mohamed Morsi in 2013, had promised to look into pardoning prisoners at a conference last month.

However, Irishman Halawa has not been released and is still waiting on his trial to begin.

He has been waiting to face the charges since the middle of 2013.

Still waiting

His trial has been delayed 16 times since his initial incarceration and is now scheduled for 13 December.

A statement from the Department of Foreign Affairs this afternoon confirmed he had not been released.

It read:

Our Embassy in Cairo has advised that Ibrahim Halawa is not among the prisoners pardoned by President Al Sisi.

“We are examining the basis for the pardons and Department of Foreign Affairs and trade officials have been in touch with Mr Halawa’s Irish-based lawyers today.  The Irish Government is continuing in our determined and sustained efforts to see Ibrahim returned to Ireland.”

Ibrahim Halawa court case PA Archive / PA Images Nosayba (left) and Somaia Halawa, sisters of Ibrahim Halawa, on Grafton Street in Dublin's city centre. PA Archive / PA Images / PA Images

Halawa and his three sisters were arrested and detained after being caught up in a protest against the sitting president’s removal from power.

His three sisters were released from prison in November, 2013.

Amnesty International said it had conducted a thorough review of the prosecution evidence and concluded that Ibrahim could not have committed the violent crimes with which he has been charged.

4/2/2014. Amnesty International Reports Laura Hutton / Photocall Ireland Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland, Colm O'Gorman. Laura Hutton / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

Executive director of Amnesty Ireland, Colm O’Gorman, said: “Ibrahim’s ongoing detention is an outrageous violation of this young Irish citizen’s rights.

Having endured sixteen trial delays and 39 months living in horrific conditions in an Egyptian prison cell, it is long past time for the Egyptian government to intervene and secure his release, as they have in the cases of those released today.

Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan wrote to Taoiseach Enda Kenny earlier this month calling on him to directly intervene on behalf Halawa.

She said: “Ibrahim Halawa is an Irish citizen, a young man from Dublin, who is being held captive in Egypt without trial. This grievous injustice is going on for over three long years.

“This is the sixteenth postponement of Ibrahim’s trial. He continues to suffer appalling physical and mental degradation as he languishes in prison far from home.”

Read: Prisoner seriously injured and hospitalised after stabbing at Mountjoy >

Read: ‘There have been times when I never wanted to leave the house again’ >

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