IBRAHIM HALAWA: STATEMENT RELEASED BY KRW LAW LLP ON BEHALF OF THE HALAWA FAMILY
Somaia Halawa (Sister of Ibrahim Halawa)
“Today’s news, that the case has been adjourned until 2nd October 2016, is deeply troubling. To say we are devastated by today’s outcome is an understatement. It was confirmed on the previous occasion, and reaffirmed in the interim, that Judgment would be passed in Ibrahim’s case today. It now appears that a decision has been taken by the Judiciary to reopen the case, and to reassess video evidence that has always been available. This decision comes as a surprise to our family, and the Irish Government, in circumstances where we all understood the proceedings would come to a conclusion today. This sparks a further delay, in what appears to be an indication that the trial will now start afresh in October.
Through our lawyer, Darragh Mackin, we have been regularly engaging with the Irish Government in assessing next steps in anticipation of a verdict being delivered today. This latest news will now mean that Ibrahim will be detained over three years and two months by the time of his next hearing. We will be meeting with the Irish Government in the coming days to discuss this recent development, and the proposed way forward.
There comes a time, when enough must be enough. Ibrahim continues to be detained indefinitely. In light of today’s development, we feel we have no alternative but to reapply for Ibrahim’s release under the Presidential Decree (Law 140). The law is expressly clear. The Egyptian government can, when it is in the State’s interest, deport a citizen to his home Country. It is in cognisance of the resolution initiated by Lynn Boylan MEP passed by the EU Parliament and the Communication by the United Nations, which we seek to reapply for Ibrahim’s immediate release given the inordinate and objectionable delay in bringing the judicial proceedings to a close. It is in line with this, that we will now seek to urgently meet with the Irish Government to discuss the next steps in light of this truly heart-breaking news.”
Darragh Mackin (KRW LAW LLP Solicitor to the Halawa Family and Ibrahim Halawa)
“This recent development comes as an appalling surprise to all involved. We, in collaboration with the Irish government, have been continuously preparing for what, we all believed, to be the end of the judicial proceedings. For the trial to be reopened, and adjourned to October is entirely insupportable. It is no secret that we have serious concerns and reservations about the criminal justice process in Egypt. These concerns have manifested themselves in today’s decision. Power does not appear to listen to reason. As is evident from the EU Parliament’s motion, and the UN’s Communication, the delay in resolving this matter is entirely unacceptable and we must now, in tandem with the Irish Government, reassess our options in light of today’s development.
We can confirm we intend to meet with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in the coming days to consult on the proposed way forward, in light of what has been a further hindrance to the resolution of this matter.”
Notes for Editors:
- Any queries should be directed to the family’s solicitor, Darragh Mackin, KRW Law, at firstname.lastname@example.org or +7976070023.
- The case has been adjourned until 2nd October 2016, contrary to the fact the matter was today listed for Verdict to be delivered. It now appears, that the trial is going to be reopened and start afresh on 2nd October 2016 on the premise that the Judge wishes an expert to review video evidence.
- Ibrahim was arrested on 17 August 2013, when he and others were taking refuge in the al-Fateh Mosque in Cairo. His legal team have seen no evidence of him being involved in any violence. International observers, including from Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, who were present on 17 August have described unprovoked and unjustified violence by Egyptian security forces. Over 16 and 17 August it is understood that at least 97 people died, although estimates from Human Rights Watch put the number at minimum 120, using official data from the Egyptian Forensic Medical Authority.
- Between 5 July and 17 August 2013, over 1,150 protestors were killed by police and army forces. A detailed one-year investigation by Human Rights Watch has concluded that the conduct of the Egyptian security forces in responding to the demonstrations involved the systemic and intentional use of excessive and lethal force in their policing, resulting in the killing of unarmed, peaceful protestors on an unprecedented scale: All According to Plan: The Rab’a Massacre and Mass Killings of Protestors in Egypt (August 2014), available at http://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/egypt0814web_0.pdf In January 2015 the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Prince Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, urged for an end to the excessive use of force by Egyptian security personnel, accountability for the Egyptian security forces, and he called for the release of all those detained for protesting peacefully: Statement available at http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=49919#.VZFRZLnbJ9A.
- Ibrahim Halawa has been detained since his arrest on 17 August 2013 and has not been granted bail. He is accused along with 493 others on serious charges, which could result in life imprisonment or the death penalty.
- Egyptian Law 140 of 2014 allows for deportation before conviction or sentence. This provision was recently used to deport Peter Greste, an AlJazeera journalist arrested in 2011 and charged with dissemination of false news, to his home country of Australia.