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Wednesday 7 December 2016

Trial of Irishman Ibrahim Halawa adjourned for the 16th time

Published 12/11/2016 | 15:24

Fatima and Omaima Halawa, sisters of Ibrahim, at a protest in Dublin recently. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Fatima and Omaima Halawa, sisters of Ibrahim, at a protest in Dublin recently. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

The trial of Ibrahim Halawa, an Irishman who has been in an Egyptian prison for three years, has been adjourned for the 16th time.

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Mr Halawa, from Firhouse in Dublin, was due to stand trial with 493 others in August 2014 after participating in a protest against the ousting of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi in August 2013.

Mr Halawa, now 20, was just 17 at the time of his arrest.

He has claimed to have been beaten, tortured and placed in solitary confinement on multiple occasions. The Egyptian authorities deny these claims.

Ibrahim Halawa
Ibrahim Halawa

His next trial date is set for his 21st birthday, December 13th. By that time, he will have been detained for three years and five months.

The stated reason for the delay was the non-appearance of a number of the defendants; Mr Halawa’s solicitor has said that this is “indicative of the inherent shortcomings of mass trials.”

If convicted, Mr Halawa could be facing the death penalty.

Irish authorities have called on the Egyptian government to release him, but the Egyptian parliament has rejected the request.

In a statement, Fiona Crowley, Research and Legal Manager with Amnesty International Ireland, said: “Today’s delay, the sixteenth, further prolongs Ibrahim’s horrific ordeal. Letters from Ibrahim catalogues a series of grave human rights abuses which we must take seriously.”

“The continuing imprisonment of this young Irish citizen is a violation of both international and Egyptian law. Ibrahim is one of 494 defendants facing a grossly unfair mass trial which makes it almost impossible for his lawyers to mount a meaningful defence.”

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