Ibrahim Halawa: Group of TDs to visit prisoner in Egypt in days
Brendan Howlin, Eamon Ryan, Darragh O’Brien, Eoin Ó Broin, Paul Murphy among group
Ibrahim Halawa as he appeared before his incarceration in 2013.
Somaia Halawa with a postcard of her brother Ibrahim Halawa to launch a campaign to free him in late 2015. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times
A delegation of TDs led by Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl is to visit Irish man Ibrahim Halawa in prison in Egypt.
Mr Halawa (21), from Firhouse, Dublin, has been in custody for three and a half years awaiting trial along with 500 other detainees.
He was arrested during protests in Cairo after the Muslim Brotherhood was ousted from power through a military coup.
Mr Ó Fearghaíl will lead a delegation of eight TDs representing most of the political parties and Independent groupings.
They will travel to Egypt next Monday for a five-day visit.
The group is due to meet Mr Halawa in prison on Tuesday morning, ahead of meeting representatives of the Egyptian parliament and government later in the week.
The other TDs in the delegation are Labour leader Brendan Howlin; Green Party leader Eamon Ryan; Fianna Fáil foreign affairs spokesman Darragh O’Brien; Sinn Féin’s housing spokesman Eoin Ó Broin; Fine Gael TD Colm Brophy; Anti-Austerity Alliance TD Paul Murphy, and Independent Deputy Noel Grealish.
The visit was planned after a Dáil debate last July on Mr Halawa’s continued detention without trial.
There was broad agreement an all-party delegation should visit Egypt with a view to getting access to Mr Halawa to discuss his continued detention, the charges against him and the conditions of his incarceration.
The visit has come through an invitation from the Egyptian parliament. The TDs will also discuss trade and other mutual interests with their Egyptian counterparts during the visit.
Mr Halawa was 17 when he was arrested in a mosque during disturbances in Cairo in August 2013.