Ibrahim Halawa marks three years in prison in Egypt

Continued detention of Dublin man described as ‘scandalous’ ahead of fresh application for release

Omaima (left), Fatima and Somaia Halawa, sisters of Ibrahim Halawa, at their home in Dublin in 2014. Photograph: Aidan Crawley/The Irish Times

Omaima (left), Fatima and Somaia Halawa, sisters of Ibrahim Halawa, at their home in Dublin in 2014. Photograph: Aidan Crawley/The Irish Times

 

The continued detention of Dublin man Ibrahim Halawa without trial in a Cairo prison was described as “scandalous” as he marked three years in jail on Wednesday.

Supporters of Mr Halawa posted online a photograph of a letter which they said was written by him from prison. Addressed to members of his family and the Irish people it is entitled: “I am sorry it has been 3 years” . The lengthy letter ends “I’m fighting for what you taught me to die for. I’m fighting for other to gain democracy like back home. I’m sorry that I am willing to die for freedom”.

Mr Halawa (20) has been in prison since August 2013, when he was arrested at the Fateh mosque in Cairo during protests against the ousting of then president Mohamed Morsi.

Green Party deputy leader Catherine Martin TD described the situation as “scandalous” and said it was unprecedented to be held in pre-trial detention for so long.

“It is deeply unfair that Ibrahim has never been able to present a case for his defence in a mass trial of over 400 people, where no evidence has ever been shown against him. It is profoundly worrying that October 2nd is the next date for a court hearing with no indication of his release,” she said.

Lawyers for Mr Halawa, who is from Firhouse in Dublin, were expected to lodge an application this week for his release by presidential decree under Egypt’s law 140, which allows for the transfer of accused or convicted prisoners from Egypt to their home country.

The move follows the rejection by the speaker of the Egyptian parliament of an all-party Oireachtas motion calling for Mr Halawa’s immediate release.

The Government is expected to support the fresh legal application for Mr Halawa’s release.

Mr Halawa and 493 others’s proceedings have to date been adjourned 13 times, most recently last month, and no evidence has been heard.