IBRAHIM HALAWA: STATEMENT RELEASED BY KRW LAW LLP ON BEHALF OF THE HALAWA FAMILY
Today, the trial of Ibrahim Halawa was adjourned for the fifteenth time. Regrettably, this development does not come as a surprise to his international legal team or his family. This is for two reasons primarily:
(1) When this date was fixed, we always had concerns that it would not proceed as a trial due to the fact it falls on an Egyptian holiday; and
(2) We, and the Irish Government, were certain that the trial would proceed and conclude on the last occasion (29 June 2016). This hope was dashed when the trial was in essence, restarted, and a new panel charged with reviewing video evidence. That in and of itself reaffirmed our concerns that the likelihood of a trial beginning today was zero.
It is against this backdrop that we remain extremely concerned about the progress in this case. Today has cemented the belief that a trial is now unlikely any time soon. This fact is wholly and entirely unacceptable bearing in mind Ibrahim has now been detained for 3 years and 1 month already, since he was a child aged 17, and with no sign of an imminent conclusion.
We have advanced an application for Ibrahim Halawa’s release. This application was lodged on 18th August 2016. It is our understanding that this application is actively being considered. It is with this in mind that the maximum pressure must now be brought to bear, to ensure that it is met with the appropriate response. Today’s development unequivocally strengthens the requirement for the Egyptian President to now directly intervene and ensure he is returned back to Ireland. Such an outcome, in light of today’s development, is the only option that remains to ensure that Egypt respects its obligations under International Law.
Solicitor to Ibrahim Halawa
KRW LAW LLP
Counsel to Ibrahim Halawa
Doughty Street Chambers
Notes for Editors:
1. Any queries should be directed to the family’s solicitor, Darragh Mackin, KRW Law, at firstname.lastname@example.org or +7976070023.
2. The case has been adjourned until 12th November 2016. The hearing in essence was vacated.
3. The Application for Ibrahim’s release has been lodged under Law 140, also commonly known as the Presidential Decree. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.