EU PARLIAMENT TO VOTE ON IRISH RESOLUTION ON DEMANDS TO RELEASE IBRAHIM HALAWA FROM IMPRISONMENT IN EGYPT
Ibrahim Halawa is the 20-year-old Dublin citizen who has spent the past three years imprisoned in Cairo following his arrest during protests in the Egyptian capital in 2013. His trial was postponed for the tenth time this week. Now his family, Irish politicians and organisations including Amnesty International are intensifying their calling for his immediate release from prison.
The Resolution by Irish MEPs, initiated by Lynn Boylan, is being tabled before the European Parliament. The Resolution stresses the fact that Ibrahim Halawa could face the death penalty in Egypt if he is convicted at the end of his mass trial whenever that may be. The Resolution has received cross-party support and is expected to pass by a large majority. The full Resolution can be read by clicking here.
In October this year Lynn Boylan invited Ibrahim Halawa’s legal team to address the EU Parliament in Brussels, in which representations were made regarding the lawfulness of Ibrahim’s detention and wider human rights abuses in Egypt. KRW LAW LLP, who act for Ibrahim Halawa and his family, have lodged rebuttal submissions with the EU Parliament in response to submissions lodged by the Egyptian government in contesting the Resolution. KRW LAW LLP co-authored these submissions with Reprieve, a London based NGO, which advocates on behalf of individuals who are subject to the death penalty. A copy of our submissions can be read by clicking here.
KRW LAW LLP have instructed international Counsel Caoilfhionn Gallagher, Mark Wassouf and Katie O’Byrne of Doughty Street Chambers, London.
Lynn Boylan MEP, who is initiated the cross-party Resolution said:
“Ibrahim cannot testify in his defence, he’s being tried with 490 other defendants, he’s met with his lawyer once in the two and a half year so he’s never been able to put forward even a case of defence and they’re all in breach of any standards internationally about getting a fair trial.”
Somaia Halawa, Ibrahim’s sister said:
“This Resolution has brought hope for Ibrahim and our family, who finally believe that politics can be set aside, and humanity and human rights given priority. Thanks to Lynn and all who have supported this resolution.”
Darragh Mackin, solicitor, KRW LAW LLP said:
“We warmly welcome, and support the EU Resolution calling for Ibrahim’s release. The Resolution signifies the context of Ibrahim’s detention against the wider backdrop of human rights abuses in Egypt, and the continuing failure to uphold the very basic human rights enshrined in international law.”
ENDS: 17 12 2015
Notes for Editors:
- Any queries should be directed to the family’s solicitor, Darragh Mackin, KRW Law, at firstname.lastname@example.org or +447976070023.
- The Resolution can be watched live at: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/plenary/en/home.html
- Darragh Mackin (KRW Law), Caoilfhionn Gallagher, Katie O’Byrne and Mark Wassouf (Doughty Street Chambers) submitted an Opinion on Ibrahim Halawa’s position under international law to the Irish Government on 30 June 2015. The Opinion concludes that there is evidence of multiple and grave breaches of Ibrahim’s rights under international law and that his case is now extremely urgent. It asks the Irish Government to take a number of specific steps, including to:
- make a formal diplomatic complaint to Egypt over the manner in which the Egyptian Government has treated Ibrahim Halawa;
- make a formal request for Ibrahim Halawa’s immediate deportation to Ireland pursuant to the terms of Law 140 of 2014 (which permits the deportation of foreign criminals and suspects); and
- support applications to UN bodies on Ibrahim’s behalf.
A copy of the Opinion is available on request.
- Egyptian Law 140 of 2014 allows for deportation before conviction or sentence. This provision was recently used to deport Peter Greste, an Al Jazeera journalist arrested in 2011 and charged with dissemination of false news, to his home country of Australia. At the time of his deportation Mr Greste remained subject to unfinished criminal proceedings in Egypt. Despite his deportation, Mr Greste technically remains a defendant in his case (though he is now at liberty in Australia), which is ongoing before the Egyptian courts as at the date of this Press Release.
ENDS: 17 12 2015