Minister Flanagan expresses support for Ibrahim Halawa06 January 2015
Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan, TD, has expressed his deep concern about the continued detention of Irish citizen Ibrahim Halawa, following the postponement of his trial today for the third time.
The Minister said:
"While I am strongly of the view that Ibrahim Halawa should not be tried in a group trial with a large number of defendants, I am very disappointed that today’s postponement represents another delay in Ibrahim’s long-running case.
“As with all consular cases involving Irish citizens, the Government’s priority has been, and will continue to be, Ibrahim’s welfare. I have raised the matter of Ibrahim’s welfare on a number of occasions with my Egyptian counterpart and I have stressed that the charges against Ibrahim should be reviewed, and that he be released and permitted to return home to Ireland to his family and his studies. I have also raised this case with EU partners, including with the new EU High Representative Federica Mogherini.
"Diplomatic officers at the Irish Embassy in Egypt, including the Ambassador, have been treating this case as a priority and have visited Ibrahim on over thirty occasions since his detention began, and attended today’s hearing.
“This is a difficult case in a complex and challenging context. Although Ireland is precluded from directly interfering with the ongoing judicial process in Egypt, we have raised our concern at the continued and lengthy period of detention with the Egyptian authorities in a clear and sustained manner. We continue to highlight the critical importance of due process in this case. It is the Government’s strong view that Ibrahim should not be tried as part of a group trial involving a large number of defendants.
“I will continue to use every opportunity to raise this matter with the Egyptian authorities, both personally and through the continued and sustained work of the Irish Ambassador to Egypt and her team of officials. In the coming days I will be reviewing the most recent developments in this case in consultation with the Ambassador. I hope also to again consult with Ibrahim’s family, as well as with those who have been representing his interests as we continue to look for progress in this case. Ireland will continue to use all appropriate international channels to highlight our ongoing and serious concerns with regard to this case.”
6 January 2015.