Sunday 25 February 2018

Amnesty report clears Irish teen of involvement in Cairo violence

Ibrahim Halawa
Ibrahim Halawa
Shane Phelan

Shane Phelan

An Amnesty International report has said evidence exists that clears Irish teen Ibrahim Halawa of involvement in violent clashes with security forces in Egypt.

Halawa (19) has been detained for almost two years after being arrested during protests at a mosque in Cairo against the ousting in a military coup of President Mohamed Morsi.

Egyptian authorities claim protesters exchanged gunfire with the security forces.

However, in a report published today, Amnesty said it had eyewitness accounts from its own researchers that disproved the claims.

These accounts placed protesters inside the inner part of a mosque when gunfire is alleged to have taken place outside.

The report accuses the Egyptian government of imprisoning thousands of youths "to crush the spirit of the country's bravest and brightest".

According to the report, Halawa sustained a gunshot wound to his hand when security forces stormed the mosque.

Dublin-born Halawa, the son of Ireland's most senior Islamic cleric, Sheikh Hussein Halawa, was arrested at the mosque along with three of his sisters.

The sisters were released on bail and were able to return to Ireland. However, he has remained in custody and is facing a mass trial along with 493 others.

Amnesty said the case file showed most of the 100 witnesses to be called in the trial are police or government officials.

Irish Independent

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