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Monday 23 April 2018

Halawa will be home 'before middle of the week': minister

Ibrahim Halawa has been in a Cairo jail since 2013
Ibrahim Halawa has been in a Cairo jail since 2013
Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

A young Irishman held without trial in an Egyptian jail for almost four years is expected to be welcomed back to Dublin within 72 hours.

Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney said he expected major developments in relation to the release from custody of Ibrahim Halawa (21) within the next day.

"I would be very hopeful and confident that we will see Ibrahim home before the middle of the week," he said.

The young man, whose family is based at Firhouse in Dublin, has been in custody in Egypt since 2013.

He was detained, along with hundreds of others, following street protests in Cairo over the military coup which led to the ousting of President Mohammed Morsi.

Since 2013, Ibrahim has been held in a Cairo prison awaiting a court hearing. Last week, all charges against him were dismissed. However, he has remained in custody pending a formal release - a development his family has expressed major concern over.

"There are a number of reasons," Mr Coveney said.

"We have just been unlucky in the timing here. We have just had the Muslim New Year so, from last Wednesday evening until yesterday morning, basically Egypt was shut down.

"No decisions were being made."

Irish Independent

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