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Ibrahim Halawa trial in Egypt delayed for 14th time in three years

Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan said he shares the frustration of the young Irishman’s family.

THE TRIAL OF Irishman Ibrahim Halawa in Egypt has been delayed again today and may now be adjourned until October.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan said the latest delay is “a particular source of concern and frustration for Mr Halawa and his family”.

“I fully share their sense of frustration.”

The 20-year-old was arrested almost three years ago during a demonstration in Cairo in support of the Muslim Brotherhood which had been ousted from power. The Irish Times reports the judge in the case today said he wished to have video evidence in the case examined, though this evidence was dismissed by a previous judge.

Speaking about today’s events, Flanagan said:

I will be conveying my concerns about this delay directly to the Egyptian government and, notwithstanding the separation of powers, I will be seeking more information of the review of technical evidence ordered by the court and its likely impact on this trial.

He added that he met yesterday with Halawa’s father and sister and reassured them of his and the government’s commitment to securing Ibrahim’s return to Ireland.

‘Deep disappointment’

In the Dáil today, Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams raised the young Dublin man’s case, asking the Minister for Justice to request a presidential decree to send him home.

Frances Fitzgerald said she wished to express her “deep disappointment and concern” that the case had again been delayed. She said the Irish ambassador in Egypt was present in the court and that embassy officials have been present for all hearings.

In a recent letter responding to questions from The Times and human rights organisation Reprieve, Halawa described his treatment in prison and spoke of being forced to watch the torture of other prisoners.

Beating is a general title. I have been beaten with a plastic plumbing bar, slapped, punched, kicked, and dragged. You can have all of that happen to you for just one reason: speaking while an officer is speaking.

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Minister Flanagan said officials regularly visit the young man in prison and the latest visit took place at the end of May. The embassy will make arrangements for further visits in the coming days, he said.

“I will continue to use every possible opportunity to underline our concerns about this case to Egypt, both directly and bilaterally, and also with EU and other international partners and friends.”

- With reporting by Isabel Hayes. 

Read: “They hold a man’s arm against the curb and you hear it break when they kick it.”>

Read: Ibrahim Halawa is back in jail as trial is delayed again>

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