Discussing Ibrahim Halawa on George Hook

Today I spoke with George Hook about the further delays in the trial of Ibrahim Halawa and explained why I have called upon the Taoiseach to emphasise again to President el-Sisi the deep concern and frustration shared by all Irish political parties for the wellbeing and rights of Ibrahim Halawa.

The verdict postponement is deeply frustrating and is characteristic of what has happened throughout this trial, where lack of due process has been one of the most damaging things to the health of this young man. Ibrahim has already spent over four years in prison waiting for this day, only to be let down once again. Given the nature of mass trials and the fact that Ibrahim will be tried alongside 493 other detainees, who may face grave penalties, we must hope that the Egyptian courts do their best to ensure that this individual's rights are also remembered. 

Ibrahim has already lost four of the most important years of his young life languishing in prison. It's essential that now, at 21 years old, he be given the chance to rebuild his life with the support of his family and friends in Ireland.

I was a member of an Oireachtas delegation who visited Ibrahim Halawa in prison earlier this year. The delegation also met with President el-Sisi who gave a firm commitment that he would exercise his powers to grant clemency once the Egyptian judicial process has run its course.

In July 2016, all parties both Houses of the Oireachtas agreed to unanimously pass identical Green Party motions calling for Ibrahim’s immediate release.