Saturday 22 July 2017

Government arranged doctor to see 'high priority' Ibrahim Halawa, Flanagan reveals

Dubliner Ibrahim Halawa has been in jail in Egypt awaiting a mass trial since August 2013, when he was aged just 17
Dubliner Ibrahim Halawa has been in jail in Egypt awaiting a mass trial since August 2013, when he was aged just 17

Kathy Armstrong

The Irish government arranged a doctor to visit Ibrahim Halawa in prison last week, Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan has confirmed.

Minister Flanagan called Mr Halawa's case is "a high priority" for our Government and claimed it's receiving " unprecedented attention and resources."

The Dubliner was arrested in a mosque in Cairo, Egypt in August 2013 after he was accused of being involved in the banned Muslim Brotherhood, he has been in prison since and his trial has been postponed 19 times.

Minister Flanagan alleged he is doing all he can to try and ensure Ibrahim (21) is  safely allowed to return to Ireland.

He said: "As in any consular case, the health of an individual citizen and details their medical history and treatment are private and confidential.

"I can confirm that the Government arranged for a doctor to visit Ibrahim Halawa in prison last week. The doctor recommended further medical assessments and that Mr Halawa be released to facilitate such tests.

"It has long been the Government's stated desire to see Mr Halawa returned to Ireland and we have made direct appeals to the Egyptian government on a number of occasions.

"Having made arrangements for a medical visit and received a report, the Taoiseach has again written to President el-Sisi about this complex and sensitive case."

Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan Picture: Damien Eagers
Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan Picture: Damien Eagers

Read More: Mary Fitzgerald: Despite a lack of any evidence against him, Ibrahim Halawa is dying in an Egyptian prison

Minister Flanagan was speaking from Luxembourg,  where he is participating in the EU Foreign Affairs Council, he said he has used the event  to highlight Ibrahim's case.

He said: "Today I discussed the case with the Secretary General of the League of Arab States, former Egyptian Foreign Minister, Abou El Gheit. "I also again raised the case with the EU's High Representative, Vice President Federica Mogherini who has taken a personal interest in the case.

"This case remains a high priority for the government and it continues to receive unprecedented attention and resources in Dublin and in Cairo. We will continue our efforts to see Ibrahim returned to Ireland without delay. In the interim we will continue to provide very high levels of consular care."

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