Minister Flanagan meets family of Ibrahim Halawa31 July 2014
The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan, TD, met this evening with the family of Ibrahim Halawa, the Irish citizen who has been detained in Egypt since last August.
Speaking after the meeting, Minister Flanagan said:
“I was glad to meet Ibrahim’s family this evening, and again express my support for them in this difficult time. I have been in regular contact with them since taking office.
“This evening, I briefed his family on my conversation earlier today with the Egyptian Minister for Foreign Affairs, during which I again raised Ibrahim’s case. I spoke to Minister Shoukry on my first day as Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade and I subsequently wrote to him setting out the Irish Government’s concerns with regard to Ibrahim’s case.
“Throughout, I have emphasised that Ibrahim was only seventeen when the alleged offences took place, and that he planned to return to Ireland immediately if released.
“In my contacts with Minister Shoukry, I stressed that while I was in no way attempting to interfere in the judicial process, it is the Government’ view that Ibrahim should not be tried as part of a trial involving a large number of defendants; that he should be advised of the specific charges to be laid against him, and be allowed to be defended in court by a lawyer of his choosing.
“I assured the Halawa family that our Ambassador to Egypt and our consular experts in the Department will continue to provide all possible assistance to Ibrahim and his family, both in Dublin and Cairo. Officials from our Embassy in Cairo – including the Irish Ambassador – have visited Ibrahim twenty times in the past year and will again visit him on Sunday. They have also taken every opportunity to raise his case with the Egyptian authorities.
“I assured Ibrahim’s family that I have also taken a close personal interest in the case and we will continue to provide all assistance possible.”
31 July 2014